Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits


Purvottanasana commonly known as Upward Plank Pose is a spine lifting pose. It gives an intense stretch to the front of the body. Purvottanasana is one the most strenuous basic yoga poses. It requires strong wrists, ankles and most importantly a strong core. With regular practice you can easily develop the required strength to practice this pose with ease.

The Sanskrit name Purvottanasana consists of three words.

Purva = The East (which refers to the front of the human body)

Uttana = Intense stretch

 Asana = Posture 

Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) meaning, steps, precautions and benefits

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Steps to practice Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) 

It is very important to know the alignment of the body in an asana. Right alignment prevents injury and gives maximum benefits of the pose. Here are the steps to practice Purvottanasana correctly: 

  1. Sit on the ground with the legs stretched in the forward direction.
  2. Place the palms on the ground by  the side of the body.
  3. Keep the hands about 30 cm behind the buttocks. Keep the elbows straight.
  4. Point the fingers towards the buttocks with the trunk slightly reclined.This is the starting position.
  5. Inhale and lift the body in the upward direction. Raise as high as you can without straining the body.
  6. Balance the weight of the body on legs and arms. 
  7. Keep the arms perpendicular to the floor. Rest the soles of your feet on the ground.
  8. Keep the elbows and knees tightened.
  9. Let the head hang loose and down in the backward direction. Breath normally.
  10. Ideally, in the final position the body is parallel to the floor.
  11. Stay in this position as long as it is comfortable.
  12. Come back in the starting position. Exhale lower the body slowly. Relax and take deep breaths.

Practice 3 times. Practice Upward Plank Pose as a preliminary practice to Chakrasana (Wheel Pose).

Precautions for Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) 

The precautions for Purvottanasana be kept in mind are given below:

  • Avoid stretching the body beyond its limits as it may strain the muscles.
  • People suffering from any of this condition should avoid practicing this asana: weak heart, wrists or ankles, high blood pressure, abdominal ulcers, hernia, cervical spondylitis, neck pain, knee pain,  back or shoulder injury.

Benefits of Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose) 

  1. Strengthens the muscles of the body especially shoulders, ankles, wrists and thighs.
  2. Strengthens the respiratory system thus give relief from Asthma.
  3. Practicing this asana is helpful for all gynecological disorders.
  4. Ensures better functioning of the liver, spleen and kidneys.
  5. Gives relief from stress, tension and anxiety as it refreshes the cells of the brain.
  6. Helpful in reducing the fat of the abdomen and rid of bloated belly.

The health benefits of Purvottanasana can be experienced gradually on regular practice.


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