Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana is one of those poses in yoga a lot of people have a love-hate-relationship with, because it’s one of the hardest poses. At the same time it’s one of the best poses to get your blood pumping through your body to warm you up for the poses to come.
Getting into it is easy, holding it in the right way is harder. You want to have your elbows directly under your shoulders and your wrists in line with your elbows. You want to chuck in your chin a bit and you want to engage your abdominal muscles by pulling in your bellybutton, squeezing your gluteal muscles and thigh muscles.
By engaging all these muscles you are building strength and endurance in your abs, back, core, gluteal muscles and hamstrings, which will improve your posture.
How to do Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana
- Start in Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Draw your body forward till your shoulders are over and in line with your wrist
- Push in your hands like you want to push the floor away. Round through your shoulders
- Engage your abdominal muscles, pulling your bellybutton in
- Engage your pelvic muscles
- Stay in the pose for half a minute, slowly working up till five minutes
Benefits Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana
- Tones your belly by building up strength in your inner core muscles
- Strengthens gluteal muscles, upper back, thighs, arms
- Reduce back pain, thanks to a stronger core
- Stretches muscles around your shoulders and the arches of your feet
- Boosts mood and gives energy
Contraindications Plank pose – Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana
- Wrist injuries
Enjoy, be safe!
Source: Light on Yoga – BKS Iyengar; Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long; Ashtanga – David Swenson; Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati