Kumbhakasana, Plank Pose

By Yoga Lily 6 years ago
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Kumbhakasana, Plank Pose

How to do Kumbhakasana, Plank Pose

Yoga classes in Milton Keynes

Kumbhakasana – In Plank Pose, the body is held strong and straight like a plank of wood. Similar to a push-up, Kumbhakasana strengthens the arms and wrists, and tones the abdominal muscles. The upper back is expended fully, increasing oxygenation of the muscle tissue and the release of tension between the shoulder blades.

1. Kneel on the floor with hands shoulder width apart. Have your hands in front of the shoulders and lean more weight forward on to them. Spread your fingers wide and push strongly through the palms of the hands as if you are lengthening your arms. Press the vertebrae between the shoulder blades up towards the ceiling, so that the skin between the shoulder blades widens and the upper back broadens. Keep the back of the neck long, face looking down and chin tucked in slightly toward the throat. Fully involve your abdominal muscles by drawing them back towards the spine. This is Kneeling Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana modification).

Kumbhakasana modification, Kneeling Plank Pose


2. Tuck your toes under and lift the knees up. Bring your hips into line so that everything from the back of the head through the sacrum to the back of the heels is in one plane. Take care not to sink the hips too low–if you are collapsing into a valley, re-establish the workings of your abdominal muscles to firm them. If your buttocks lift in a mountain shape, check that your shoulders are correctly positioned. Bring your weight forward so your shoulders line up over your wrists–you might need to walk your hands forward.

Kumbhakasana, Plank Pose


3. Now round up the upper back to broaden the back and spread the shoulder blades apart. Squeeze the buttocks together and draw the pubic abdomen gently in toward the spine. Condense from the pubic bone to the lower ribs. Lengthen the tailbone toward the heels. Press the palms evenly to the floor. Hold for five breaths. From plank pose (Kumbhakasana) you may lower into Four Limbed Staff Pose, or lift up to Downward Facing Dog Pose.


Four Limbed Staff Pose


Downward Facing Dog Pose



Gaze: Tip of nose

Build-up poses:

Counter Poses:


  • Stay at the first stage, Kneeling Plank Pose
  • Hold for a shorter time

Effect: Strengthening


Kumbhakasana, Plank Pose Counter Poses

In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.

Locust Pose, Salabhasana full position

Locust Pose, Salabhasana


Supported Bridge Pose

Supported Bridge Pose


Wrist Releases

Wrist Releases

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 Yoga Lily

  (114 articles)

Lili has been studying and practising yoga in China & UK for 20 years, and teaching since 2007. She draws inspiration from her training within established, classical yoga systems that focus on alignment, hatha vinyasa in its gentler form, yin, yin/yang, and restorative yoga styles, pranayama and meditation; blending the roots of Chinese healing traditions into a more holistic practice. For her, practice covers not just the physical aspects of yoga but also aligning and unblocking the bodies meridian energy pathways to release Qi energy (prana) which flows through the bodies energy highway, bringing the mind, body and spirit back into balance. “I am continually humbled by my students and teachers, my aim is always to teach from the heart and from the idea that yoga is the art of living, listening and learning, to embody this deeply spiritual tradition” – Lili Chen.