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Purvottanasana, East Stretch Posture (Upward Plank Pose): Traditional Yoga Backbend

Yoga classes in Milton Keynes

Purvottanasana – East Stretch Posture (Upward Plank Pose) strongly stretches the front of the body. In India, yoga is traditionally practised facing East, so the front of the body is its East side, hence the name. It strengthens the wrist and arms and limbers shoulders. It is an obvious counterpose to the seated forward bends.

Dandasana - Seated Staff Posture

1. Begin in Seated Staff Posture

1. Sit in Seated Staff Posture. Place the hands shoulder width apart, 15 centimetres (6 inches) behind the back, with the fingers pointing toward the feet. Inhale, press the hands down, and lift the buttocks, taking the weight of the body on the hands and feet. Straighten the arms and lift the hips as high as possible. Straighten the legs and press the toes down toward the floor. Keep the heels and toes together and thighs rotating inward.
2. The arms should be perpendicular to the floor while the torso arches upward. (Do not allow the hips to sag downward.) Still looking down the body, lift the hips until you can’t see your toes. Then lift the chest until you can’t see your hips. Gently tilt the head back, looking behind You and stretch the chin away. Broaden the chest. Press the floor away with the palms.
East Stretch Pose, Purvottanasana
 
3. Stay in the posture for 5 to 10 slow breaths, then exhale and come back down to Seated Staff Posture.

Tips

Gaze: Tip of nose.
Counter Poses:

  • Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Double Leg Forward Stretch (Paschimottanasana)

Lighten:

  • Keep the knees bent
  • Place feet closer together and keep the knees at a right angle so you informed a table-like shape (Table Pose)

Effect: Energising
 

Purvottanasana, East Stretch Posture (Upward Plank Pose) Couter 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.
 

Downward facing dog pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward facing dog pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana

 
Paschimottanasana, Double Leg Forward Stretch

Double Leg Forward Stretch (Paschimottanasana)