Top 8 Amazing Health Benefits of Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
The Purvottanasana is one of the intermediary asanas practised in Hātha Yoga. The asanas within this discipline have been crafted by a keen understanding of the body and the mind and in turn, inculcate the same understanding whilst being practised. The science behind each asana is solid and hence provides amazing results when it comes to developing body flexibility and endurance as well as relaxing the mind through breathing exercises and meditative techniques.
The Purvottanasana is a complex pose that requires certain preparatory asanas to get the body in place to slowly move into the Purvottanasana. The yogic philosophy is an organic and logical approach to understanding one’s body and mental capacity. The choreography involves a deep understanding of the body and mind along with the inclusive views and understandings of sciences such as astronomy and astrology. Purvottanasana may be broken down into “Purvo,” which means “east,” “Ut,” which means “intense,” and “Tan,” which means “stretch.”
Purvottanasana is a difficult stretch to the east. The east is considered a direction for new beginnings because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Hence the entire approach to the pose is in union with the movement of the sun and in turn, the entire universe. This asana has a myriad of benefits when practised regularly and properly. The core muscles of the body are stimulated as the body advances into the reverse plank pose, and the asana is completed with the assistance of the shoulders, arms, and leg muscles.
8 Benefits of Purvottanasana (Reverse or Upward Plank Pose)
The Purvottanasana is an extremely intense position to hold. The practice of this asana requires certain preparatory asanas like dhanurasana, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Supta Virasna, etc. It is very important to have a proper understanding of the body or proper guidance from a qualified teacher in order to practice the asana and reap maximum benefits. The reverse or upward plank pose has many benefits with regard to body flexibility and endurance. These benefits have been briefly discussed below
Here are 8 Benefits of Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose):
- The asana stretches your shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, and ankles – The stretch caused by this asana is intense. It increases the flexibility of the said regions and heps in oxygenating the body.
- It improves the strength of your arms, legs, core, and back – While holding the pose of the Purvottanasana, the body’s entire weight is being balanced on the heels and the hands of the person practising. The shoulders and chest regions open up as the arms and wrist areas become stronger. The upward push of the asana stretches the back, especially the lower back region while putting pressure on the core areas. This asana in itself is an entire body workout.
- It’s a great complement to the four-limbed staff position – The four-limbed staff position is better known as the Chaturanga Dandasana. It is another intense asana that strengthens the core and back regions of the body. The endurance budding aspect of both these asanas is incredible as they lie complementary to each other. The downward pull of the Chaturanga Dandasana is well balanced out by the upward push of the Purvottanasana.
- It is beneficial for treating sadness and exhaustion, as well as relaxing the mind – Holding the pose for some amount of time can help in oxygenating the body well which can be a major driving force in inducing relaxation in the body and mind.
- Improves body balance – One of the main reasons for this asana being included in the intermediary level of yoga is because this pose required a better understanding of body balance in order to hold the right position and reap maximum benefit.
- Tones the entire body – As mentioned earlier this asana stimulates multiple regions of the body. It is in itself an entire body workout. The asana builds body strength, and endurance and oxygenates the body well to induce better sleep and wellness.
- Improves thyroid gland function: As the neck stretches in this asana, the thyroid gland in the neck, by the secretion of thyroid hormone, aids in the metabolic rate of the body as well as the development of the human body.
- Improves adrenal gland function: The adrenal gland, which is located above the kidneys, aids in blood supply and secretes a variety of hormones that are necessary for optimal body balance. As the chest region expands along with the back muscles it gives the adrenal gland more space to expand and secrete more hormones.
In a nutshell, the Purvottanasana has numerous benefits, and its practice promotes a healthy lifestyle. However, because this is an intermediate asana, it must be practised under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Many preliminary asanas preclude the Purvottanasana which helps the body to prepare itself for the Upward Plank Pose. However, in order to practise these asanas, certain precautions must be followed in case the practitioner has any health or physical shortcomings. In this article, the focus has mainly been on the benefits of the Purvottanasana. Each benefit has been well elucidated with its impact on various parts of the body.
The reason for giving such attention to this particular asana is because of the multitude of benefits it generates alone as an asana. The entire approach of the asana requires a good understanding of body endurance and balance and hence is precluded by certain asanas.
I am a Pune based artist, Kathak dancer, Dance Movement Therapist, and an avid Yoga practitioner/ teacher. I am also the Director at the Sakal Media Group, a Trustee of Pune Blind School and Nirdhar Trust.
Being a part of Sakal Media Group, with its strong foundation of service and ethical journalism, I am deeply committed in making this world a better place by pushing boundaries, giving opportunities to others, following my convictions, helping others make better choices and to tell powerful stories that will help reshape the world we live in.