- Begin in Phalakasana (Plank Pose), fingers spread wide; middle finger pointing forwards (click here for a dissection of Plank Pose).
- From Plank Pose, take a deep inhale and as you exhale, begin to lower the upper body by bending at the elbows. Make sure your elbows hug the sides of your body as you lower down into a push-up position with your wrists underneath your elbows. The heads of your shoulders should move back (shoulders down, away from your ears).
- Your body should be parallel to the floor looking down at the floor below you while you stretch the upper torso forward. Make sure the weight of the body is at the core and not at the shoulders and the wrists.
- The front of your thighs should be lifted, hips flat and the tailbone should reach towards your heels
- Spread the shoulder blades apart (there is a tendency for the shoulder blades to roll in towards each other if there isn’t the strength in the triceps or serratus anterior (the muscle which attaches to your scapula under your armpit) to hold the pose.
- Tighten the calves, hamstrings and the quadriceps, balancing the lower body on your toes.
- Work on pushing the chest down while not touching the floor and the shoulders spread out well expanding the chest.
- Once the body is aligned and comfortable, remain here for about four breaths to start with and slowly gain endurance and go to about 8 breaths.
- Whilst in the pose, with every inhalation loosen the body slightly and with every exhalation, stretch the spine out in front of your elbows, staying focused on strengthening the core.
- To come out of this posture, place the knees on the floor first and then raise the upper torso upwards straightening the arms out and slowly come back to Downward Facing Dog Pose straightening the knees. If this is difficult, then place your knees on the floor and slowly bring the upper torso backwards and sit in Vajrasana taking the body back completely
- Placing knees on the floor initially
- Placing yoga blocks below the chest and using the support to come down into the pose
- Use a wall to support the toes
- Use yoga blocks below the palms
- Strengthens arms
- Strengthens muscles around the shoulders
- Strengthens upper back and chest
- Increases core strength
- Improves posture of spine
- Increases flexibility of the lower arms
- Requires complete awareness of the body and breath
- Improves digestive system
When to Avoid
- Avoid this pose if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or shoulder or wrist injury