I don’t usually like spending a lot of time in front of the computer but the past few weeks, I had to for various reasons. I can feel the extra tightness in my shoulders and upper back. When I need to re-balance my body after a long day of working at a computer, I like to do Upward Plank Pose.
Practicing upward plank can be a great way to counteract the negative effects of desk-slouching, driving, and other forward-facing actions that can cause rounded spines. ¹ Purvottanasana opens up the whole front side of the body and it is invigorating!
Upward Plank is a very good yoga and Pilates exercise for improving your posture, building strength and flexibility. It stretches the shoulders, chest, abdomen, forearms, tops of the feet, and ankles; while strengthening the arms, shoulders, upper back, legs, glutes, and wrists. Practicing this skill regularly, builds core strength, and increases energy levels.
How to do Upward Plank:
Sit up with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, your feet together and spine erect.
Bring your hands several inches behind your hips, shoulder width apart. Rotate your palms so your fingertips point in the same direction you are facing (toward your feet).
Draw your shoulder blades together, lean back and support the weight of your body with your hands. Do not bend the arms.
Breathing in, raise the pelvis up toward the ceiling keeping the whole body straight and long. Your chest is lifting and the spine is in one straight line.
Keep your knees straight and bring the feet flat to the floor. Point the toes towards the ground and let the head fall back. Your hands should end up under your shoulders.
Hold the pose and continue breathing. As you exhale, come back to a sitting position and relax.
Do not practice Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana) if you have carpel tunnel syndrome, a wrist or shoulder injury. ²
Upward Plank (also called Reverse Plank or Incline Plank) requires a lot of strength. Beginners can take some of the weight off their arms by practicing with their hands on a raised solid surface like a step or sturdy bench. If the intensity of the pose is too much, try Reverse Table Pose instead. Reverse Table has similar benefits.
For the Challenge
More advanced students can come into One-Legged Upward Plank Pose (Eka Pada Purvottanasana) by extending one leg off the ground and up into the air. Just remember, take it slow and don’t push the pose too far. Safety and form is first and foremost.
Have an uplifting week, Linda
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. – Psalm 31:24
Please visit my website: http://www.lindaeichberg.com
©All Rights Reserved. This blog is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice; consult your doctor before starting any new physical activities.