I always have the difficultly to do Purvottanasana (inverted plank pose): my upper arms feel overstretched and twisted, my toes can hardly touch the ground. In order to solve the problems, I try to look into it:

Starting point for Purvottanasana is Dandasana, place your palms 12 inches behind the hips, externally rotated the shoulders, press firmly on the hands and feet, lift the butt off the floor. In this pose the front of body is lengthened: it stretches pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, the anterior deltoids, rectus abdominis, oblique abdominis, iliopsoas. It strengthens the back of body: the rhomboid (the should blades contract), the posterior deltoids (antagonizing the anterior deltoids) and the erector spinae.

From the above, we can see so clearly that Purvottanasana is a perfect counter pose for Chaturanga Dandasana: while Chaturanga primarily strengthens a lot of muscles in front of the body: chest muscles, abdominal muscles and the muscle joins the front of the shoulder to the upper arm (anterior deltoids)., Purvottansana stretches all these muscles and strengthens the back of the body. As a regular ‘hard’ yoga practitioner doing a lot of Charturangas everyday, it’s not strange to have tight shoulders and quads. Yoga is all about balance, when you do one pose too often, you need to have another pose to counterbalance the downside of it, therefore Purvottanansa is a perfect choice for me.

Kathy
29th January