Stress, body pain, and bad body posture – sedentary lifestyle has given us plenty of health issues to deal with. When not cared well in time, these issues escalate and become chronic. This is why, it is important to start some physical and mental activity to keep the body refreshed and active. 

Yoga is one such way and this article is about a yoga pose that can treat all these issues. It is none other than Purvottanasana. An intense stretch of the body, Purvottanasana is done at an intermediate level of yoga. If you are a beginner, it is advised that you should perform this yoga pose under an expert’s supervision. 

In this article, we have shared some important details about Purvottanasana yoga so that if you can prepare yourself before starting the pose. From the meaning of Purvottanasana to its steps and benefits, you can learn it all. Let’s begin. 

What does Purvottanasana Mean?

All the yogic poses get their name from the Sanskrit language and Purvottanasana too gets its name from the same language. The word consists of three terms – Purva that means “East”, Uttana that means “Intense Stretch, and Asana that means “Pose”. So, in this yoga pose, your body is intensely stretched from head to toe. 

In English, Purvottanasana is known as Eastward Facing Stretch. Also, since this pose resembles the plank pose in an upward direction, it is also known as the Upward Plank, Nverted Plank, or Reverse Plank Pose.

Moving to the symbolic representation, Purvottanasana signifies the revitalization of the body. Since east is the direction of the sunrise, the pose is also a symbol of new beginnings. It is believed that practicing Purvottanasana energizes the body and revitalizes the inner mind.  

Preparatory Poses

Before performing Upward Plank pose, it is essential to prepare your body for the intense stretch. For this, you can practice the following poses. These will remove stiffness of the back, warm up legs, energize the entire body and help you in holding purvottanasana easily.

Once you have mastered these poses, you can easily upgrade to Upward Plank pose. 

How is Purvottanasana Done?

If you are all set to do Purvottanasana, it is time to read the instructions. Make sure you follow all the Purvottanasana steps with great care and patience to prevent any injury or strain: 

  1. You have to get into the Staff pose (Dandasana) first. Then keep your hands behind your hips so that your fingertips are facing your body and not away from it. 
  2. While keeping your feet flat on the floor, slowly bend your knees. Your feet should have a hip-wide distance between them. 
  3. Exhale and push your hands and feet strongly on the ground to lift your hips upwards in such a way that they are parallel to your shoulders. Straighten out your arms. 
  4. You can use your spinal muscles to straighten your legs and point your toes in an outward direction. 
  5. Try to raise your hips as high as possible while keeping your gluts firm and your legs strong.
  6. It is time to raise your chest. Roll your shoulders back and raise the chest upwards. Let your head hang backwards but be careful. 
  7. This is the Purvottanasana pose. Hold it for 5-6 breaths and then slowly lower down the body to return to the initial position. 
  8. Repeat this pose about 3 to 5 times.

What are the Variations of Purvottanasana?

There are also plenty of variations of Purvottanasana that you can try either to increase the challenge or to make it easier for beginners. Some of the most popular variations are as follows: 

  • Salamba Purvottanasana: 
  • Kona Purvottanasna
  • Purvottansana With One Leg Raised
  • Purvottanasana Legs At The Right Angle

To learn these poses and the variations, always seek guidance from an expert. They don’t just teach you how to do these poses properly but also help you in planning a proper yoga session by combining complementary poses. 

What are the benefits of Purvottanasana?

Whenever you start a yoga pose, it is good to learn about its benefits. This helps in setting the right expectations and fitness goals. Here is a list of the best Purvottanasana benefits that you can get by performing this pose on a regular basis: 

1. Stronger Muscles

During Purvottanasana, your whole body – from your ankles and thighs to your abdomen, chest, and neck – is in an intense stretch. This boosts the blood circulation and oxygen supply in the muscles; thereby making them stronger and muscular. 

2. Stronger Respiratory System

Purvottanasana may also improve your respiratory system by opening up the chest muscles and allowing proper breathing patterns. You can also experience relief from issues such as Asthma

3. Better Functioning of Abdominal Organs

It is no doubt that Upward Plank engages your abdomen. In doing so, it also stimulates the functions of the liver, spleen, and kidneys. 

4. Toned Belly

Those who wish to have flat stomach can also benefit from this pose. Purvottanasana can reduce the fat in the abdomen and also reduce bloating. 

5. Relief From Stress

Purvottanasana improves blood circulation throughout the body, including your brain. This, in turn, improves brain function and alleviates stress, tension, and anxiety-related issues. 

What are some precautions of Purvottanasana?

Here are some precautions and tips that you should know to avoid any injury or complications: 

  • Avoid Purvottanasana if you have an injury in the wrist, back, and neck. 
  • Those who have high blood pressure should never perform it without any expert’s supervision.
  • Do not perform this yoga if you have migraine. 
  • Avoid this yoga if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Those who are pregnant should also not do this yoga. 
  • Always perform this yoga on empty stomach. 
  • Do not perform this yoga for beginners, especially at home. 


Purvottanasana is a powerful yoga asana that can help in achieving a high level of strength and flexibility in the body.  To reap most of the benefits, make sure you follow the right pose. For this, you can take online yoga classes and learn the best techniques. Once you have mastered this pose, you can easily add it to your home workouts

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July 4, 2022

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