AnatomyArms, Back, Chest, Neck, Pelvis, Shoulders, Thighs
Pose TypeBackbend, Heart Opener
Purvottanasana (PUR-voh-tun-AHS-anna) purvo = east uttana = intense stretch
- Strengthens the arms, wrists, and legs
- Stretches the chest, shoulders, and front of the ankles
- Provides a counterpose for Chaturanga
- Builds core strength and balance
- Wrist injuries, such as a recent surgery
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Slipped discs and other spinal pathologies
- Neck injuries
- Start in Dandasana (Staff pose) with your legs outstretched in front of you.
- Place your hands about six inches behind your hips, with fingertips pointing toward the toes, and press your palms firmly into the ground.
- Roll the thighs inward, and draw the abdominals in and up. On an inbreath, lift your pelvis as high as you can, keeping your chin tucked.
- Work toward straightening your legs and reaching your toes to the floor.
- Firm your shoulder blades against the back of your torso and lift your chest.
- If you have a regular practice, release your head back toward the floor. Be careful to not compress your neck.
- Stay here for five breaths. Return to Dandasana to release the pose.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose)
- Ardha Purvottanasana (Reverse Tabletop pose)
- If dropping your head back causes discomfort, keep it aligned with the spine.
- Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
- Reverse Table pose
- Ground down through all four corners of your hands.
- Reach through the heels, activating the leg muscles.
- Keeping your chest open, roll the shoulders back and down your back.
- Lower the hips down to the mat; then raise them up toward the ceiling.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Hips dropping
- External rotation of the legs