फलकासन / Phalakasana
phalaka : “plank” “board” or “bench”
Phalakasana or Plank Pose is a transitional pose that prepares your body for other intense yoga poses. Similar to its name, the practitioner’s body is held in a plank-like position, i.e., long and thin.
This yoga asana or pose places pressure on your core and shoulder muscles. It tones your body and generates heat. It is a perfect asana for beginners and helps them develop endurance. This pose is also ideal for those looking to enhance their shoulder or arm strength.
Phalakasana is an excellent pose for building core muscle strength. It increases your stamina and enhances your metabolism by focussing on all four stomach muscles, i.e., abdomen, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques. It also tones your core and abdominal muscles and reduces belly fat.
Practicing this pose reduces your reliance on the back muscles and enables you to make use of your core muscles to perform daily exercises and other activities. Thus, the pain in your lower back decreases.
This asana engages the muscles in your neck, shoulder, biceps, triceps, lower back, knee, hamstrings, calves, hips and quadriceps. It also exercises your chest muscles and improves the functioning of your respiratory system.
The Plank Pose alleviates insomnia, migraines, menopause and osteoporosis. It also reduces stress.
Regular practice of this asana creates new bone tissue. This strengthens your bones and makes them healthier. It also makes your spine strong, thereby improving your posture.
Phalakasana helps to develop mental endurance. It enables you to continue challenging yourself.
This asana stimulates and balances the Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra. It allows you to accumulate external and internal heat, which gives your body a boost of energy.
Tapas refers to passion, excitement and discipline. Performing the Plank Pose results in increasing Tapas in both your practical life and in your stance. It ignites your passion and allows you to challenge your limits.
This pose also calms your mind and eases the symptoms of depression. Along with that, it can also improve your mood and make you feel happy about yourself and your surroundings.
Although the Plank Pose is a simple and basic pose, still you should be very careful while performing it. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while practicing this pose.
This asana places a lot of pressure on the chest, which can be very harmful to high blood pressure patients. Since this pose requires concentration and focus, people with anxiety disorder should not practice it.
Also, people having carpal tunnel syndrome should give Phalakasana a miss as this pose puts considerable stress on the elbows and wrists. Lastly, if you are suffering from wrist, arm or leg injury, then refrain from performing this asana.