Ever done a push-up? If so, then you have also done plank pose. Instead of lowering yourself to the ground as when doing a push-up, the goal of plank pose is basically to hold that starting position when your arms are extended and your body is in a straight line. This is a great way to prepare you in both mind and body for more challenging poses, especially those requiring balance and/or arm strength.
A tip to keep you on the right track: if you move back and forth between Downward Facing Dog and Plank, the distance between your hands and feet should not change.
Getting into Plank Pose:
Begin this pose in Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Inhale and draw your upper body forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor, shoulders over wrists.
Press the outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor. Keep the neck in like with the spine. Flex the shoulder blades against your back, then broaden them away from the spine.
Firm your thighs and press them up toward the sky. Resist this movement by lengthening your tailbone toward the heels. Hold Plank for 30 seconds to 1 minute, keeping your eyes and throat soft.
Benefits of Plank Pose:
- Strengthens your arms and wrists
- Tones your abdominal muscles
- Stretches and strengthens your spine
- Provides a sense of balance and stability