Yoga For The Arms and Shoulders:The Upward Plank Pose

The Upward Plank Pose, known as “Purvottanasana” in Sanskrit, is a dynamic pose that offers a myriad of benefits to the body, ranging from strengthening to stretching. Here’s an expanded guide on the benefits, modifications, and tips for this pose:

Benefits of the Upward Plank Pose:

  1. Strengthens the Arms and Wrists: The position requires you to support your body weight on your hands, which strengthens the wrists, arms, and shoulders.
  2. Engages the Core: The pose also targets the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques.
  3. Stretches the Front Body: It offers a deep stretch to the front of your body, including the chest, shoulders, and ankles.
  4. Stimulates Thyroid: The gentle backward tilt of the head might stimulate the thyroid gland.
  5. Enhances Abdominal Organ Function: The upward lift and stretch can enhance the functioning of abdominal organs.


  1. Neck Issues: If you have a neck injury or don’t feel comfortable dropping your head back, you can keep your chin tucked to your chest.
  2. Wrist Sensitivity: Use a folded blanket or padding under your hands to alleviate pressure on the wrists.
  3. Support for Hips: If you struggle to keep your hips lifted, you can use a prop like a block under the sacrum for support.


  1. Engage Your Glutes: To help lift your hips, actively squeeze your gluteal muscles.
  2. Ground Through Hands and Feet: Press evenly through your hands and feet to distribute the weight and ensure balanced lifting.
  3. Watch Your Shoulders: Avoid letting the shoulders bunch up by your ears. Actively press them down and together.
  4. Protect Your Lower Back: Engage your core muscles to prevent your lower back from sagging or dipping.

The imagery at the end of the provided description – “suspended by an invisible string that runs up to the stars” – is a beautiful reminder in yoga to maintain length and extension even during rest, symbolizing the connection between the earthly body and the vast universe.

Like all yoga poses, consistency and mindful practice of the Upward Plank Pose will help you gain the most benefits. Remember to always work within your limits and consult with a qualified yoga instructor if unsure.

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