Upward Plank Pose
by Jennifer Arnold

purva: front, east
uttana: stretched out
asana: pose/posture

1.Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you and your palms on the ground beside your hips. Strengthen your legs and feel your spine grow tall.

2. Walk your hands back about six inches, keeping your palms grounded and your fingers facing forward, toward your toes.

3. With an exhalation lift your hips. Keep your hips lifted and chest open. Let the head gently release back.

4. Your arms will be perpendicular to the ground. Reach through the mounds of your big toes, feeling the strength and inner rotation of your legs. Hold for up to 5 breaths.

This posture can sometimes very challenging on the legs, back, and shoulders. One way to work on gaining the strength for the full version of the pose is to practice a modified version of the posture. If you are having trouble with this posture, begin with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground. Lift your hips from here, forming a right angle at the knees and shoulders and creating a table top version of the pose. As you become more proficient in this version, approach again with straight legs.

Strengthens wrists and arms, ankles and legs; opens shoulders and chest; balances the effects of strong forward bends; invigorates the body and spirit; promotes a sense of playfulness and joy.