Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)

English Name(s)
Stretch Of The East Pose
पूर्वोत्तानासन / Pūrvottānāsana
purva: “east/front of the body”
ut: “intense”
tana: “stretched”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Purvottanasana (PUR-voh-tun-uh-suh-nuh) passively opens the chest and elongates the spine, releasing the psoas muscles and stretching the hip flexors. All back extensions improve the movements of shoulder joints.

Energetic Benefits

The sun rises in the east without fail; in the same way the yogi is reminded of his duty to self and mankind. To rise without fail in any circumstance, yogis continue their practice without fail, leaving behind likes and dislikes. This asana lifts the chest and heart up towards the sky, reminding yogis of the higher consciousness lying beyond the body and mind.


Avoid this pose if you have any wrist, neck or shoulder injuries or pain. Use a block underneath the palms to lift the chest higher.

Going into the Pose

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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