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Upward Facing Plank Pose – Purvottanasana

Pose Summary

Upward Facing Plank Pose, also called Reverse Plank, is great counter-pose to all of those Chaturangas taken during Vinyasa Yoga classes, as it stretches the shoulder muscles. Literally translated as intense stretch of the east, yogis would practice facing eastwards during sunrise and would stretch their bodies in this position towards the rising sun. 

Yoga Collective - Upward Facing Plank Pose – Purvottanasana


Step 1

Come to dandasana, the seated position on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Your arms are on either side of your body.

Step 2

Bring the hands, shoulder distance apart a few inches behind your hips. The finger are facing your body. Externally rotate the upper arms and bring the palms of your hands into the earth. Draw the shoulder blades and broaden through the collar bones. 

Step 3

On an inhale, firmly press your hands and feet down into the earth as you lift your hips up towards the sky. Keep the chest lifted as the spine remains in one straight line.

*Modifications:  Reverse Table Top Pose would be the perfect alternative if this posture feels like too much strain on the shoulders or if you are tending to sag in the hips.

Step 4

Reach the balls of the feet towards the earth while keeping the legs straight and active. Try to relax the buttocks as much as possible.

Step 5

If it feels appropriate you can gently release your head back without crunching the neck. If not keep your gaze straight up and in line with your spine.

Step 6

To release, gently bring the gaze forward and the buttocks on to the earth to come back to dandasana. 


  • Strengthens and stretches your shoulders. 
  • Tones the arms, upper back, legs, glutes, and wrists
  • Stretches the chest, abdomen, tops of the feet, and ankles. 
  • Promotes physical and mental balance


  • Carpal tunnel 
  • Wrist and shoulder injuries 
  • If you don’t have the strength for this position try tabletop position