It’s a powerful and challenging yoga pose that tests your strength, endurance, and focus.
It is also a foundational pose for many other arm balances and inversions.
In this pose, you hold your body in a straight line parallel to the floor, supported by your hands and feet. You engage your core, your arms, your legs, and your back to maintain this alignment and resist gravity.
Plank pose is a part of the Sun Salutation sequence and a common transition between other poses.
It is also a great pose to practice on its own or as a warm-up for more advanced poses. It can help you improve your posture, alignment, and stability in your daily life.
To practice the Plank Pose, follow these steps:
- From Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), step or jump both feet back 4-5 feet into a push-up position.
- Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger pointing forward, press into the palms with the arms straight. Tuck the tailbone under so the legs, hips and torso are one straight line.
- Press the heels back and reach the crown of the head forward. Keep the shoulders away from the ears and the chest open. Gaze down at the floor or slightly ahead of you.
- Breathe deeply and evenly through your nose. Draw your navel toward your spine and squeeze your thighs together. Stay in this pose for 5 to 10 breaths or as long as you can.
Benefits of the Plank Pose:
- It strengthens your wrists, arms, shoulders, chest, core, legs, and back
- It tones your abdominal muscles and organs
- It improves your balance and coordination
- It boosts your metabolism and energy
- It prepares you for more advanced poses
Contraindications of the Plank Pose:
- If you have wrist injury or pain, modify this pose by placing your forearms on the floor or on blocks.
- If you have shoulder injury or instability, avoid lowering your chest too much or place a rolled-up towel under your armpits for support.
- If you have lower back injury or pain, avoid sagging your hips or arching your back too much. You can also place a bolster under your hips for support or practice Half Plank pose by lowering your knees to the floor.
Tips for beginners related to the Plank Pose:
- If you find it hard to hold this pose for a long time, start with shorter intervals and gradually increase them as you gain strength and stamina.
- If you feel any strain in your neck or shoulders, relax your head and neck and gaze at a point on the floor that is comfortable for you.
- If you want to make this pose more challenging, you can lift one leg or one arm off the floor or alternate them. You can also practice the Side Plank pose (Vasisthasana) by rotating your body to one side and stacking your feet on top of each other.
Plank pose is a simple yet effective yoga pose that can help you build strength, endurance, and focus.
By practicing it regularly, you can challenge yourself and improve your physical and mental health.
Other beginner-friendly poses that you might want to learn and practice are: Cobra Pose - this pose stretches and strengthens your spine, chest, shoulders, abdomen, and hips, while also improving your breathing and posture. Tree Pose - a yoga posture that strengthens and stretches your body while also promoting a sense of stability, focus, and harmony in your being. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana) - is a standing yoga posture that involves lunging forward with one leg, bending the front knee, and lifting the arms overhead, creating a powerful and dynamic stance that can improve strength, flexibility, balance, and focus.
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