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Phuket Yoga: Facing East with Purvottanasana sunrise stretch

PHUKET: Hello again, Last month we practised the plank pose, excellent for arm and core strength. This month, I thought I would give you its mirror image, Purvottanasana otherwise known as reverse plank or table pose.

By Kim White

Wednesday 20 August 2014, 05:20PM

Planking article from last month here.

The Sanskrit word purva translates as east, in yoga this means the whole front of the body from your tippy toes to your forehead (third eye, if we want to really get down with the yogi).

This posture feels great and is always nice in the morning, when the early sunlight washes over you. I like to think of surrendering my body to the awesome electrical powers of the sun, however the magnetic powers of the moon is just as lovely and the table pose under the super moon last Sunday night was magical.

Similar to the downward dog, this asana is great to combat fatigue and the two can be practised together to create a great energy boosting combination. Not only is a great way to combat daily tiredness it also:

  • Improves the rotation of the shoulder joints
  • Strengthens the wrists, ankles, legs, bottom, back and neck
  • Stretches the front body – shoulders, chest, stomach, front ankles
  • Expands the chest – great for easier and deeper breathes

As you probably know from past months, I am a big advocate of keeping ours wrists healthy, strong and flexible. We use them a lot and their value should not be underestimated, and Purvottanasana is a great asana that is beneficial for the wrists.

Let’s look at the steps to getting you practising this beneficial yoga pose.

1. Start in a sitting posture with your legs extended out front and your palms just behind the hips, fingers facing forward.
2. Bend you knees and place your feet about a hand span away from your bottom.
3. Curl your tail-bone upward a little and press the hands and the feet evenly onto the floor so you feel you are supporting your body weight.
4. Exhale and press the body upward rolling your shoulder blades down your back as you do so.
5. Your arms are straight and your shoulders will be sitting right on top of your wrists.
6. If you have difficulty with this posture, you might want to keep your knees bent, ankles directly under your knees (see photo above).
7. Extend your legs straight and keep your body from shoulders to ankles parallel to the floor (see photo to left).
8. Keep your tongue of the roof of your mouth and release your head back.
9. Breathe steadily for 30 seconds to one minute.
10. Bring your chin back to the chest on an inhale and release your body to the floor.

Repeat as desired.

Enjoy and happy stretching.
See you next month
Kim oxo

Kim White is the owner of Sala Samadhi. she offers authentic Hatha yoga instruction for private and group sessions. Contact: or 086 276 9174.

The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.



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