Plank Pose

Posted by Adriene on

Plank pose can be pesky. It comes up a lot in active Hatha Yoga classes, it is part of the traditional Sun Salutation Sequence and a certain mindset is needed to want to do it.

Here we break down the pose so that we connect to our inner strength, or sometimes in yoga we call it the inner fire, and build it from the inside out. When we connect to the inner core muscles and integrate the spine from the crown of the head to the tip of the tail it may seem like we are working harder but it is actually a more supportive way to work in the posture than what you might be doing now. The tendency is to get tired and hang into the bones- letting the integrity of the spine go which puts added pressure on those wrists. Find the lift and the lengthen here – that happy space between the shoulder blades. Send your energy in all directions- heels way past the back edge of the mat, crown of the head way past the front edge of the mat. Resist gravity and light your inner fire. Wake up your transversus absomini! (It’s abdominus, but I like how amdomni sounds way better.) Ask yourself, “Am I having a 100% full body experience here?” Take stock. Remember to rest in between, modify as needed, and let it build.

Plank is widely used and often misunderstood or even painful- so lets figure it out and stoke that fire. As always, send your questions and comments in.  I’m am here to help.

XO
Adriene

 

Benefits

  • Strengthens arms, wrists and abdominals
  • Strengthens calves, quads and back
  • Provides spinal support and improves posture

Modifications/Variations

  • Half Plank variation on knees
  • Plankasana on forearms – do not clasp hands, keep them in line with elbows
  • Practice at wall
  • Try one legged plank – lifting one leg, keeping it parallel to mat
  • Use a strap to practice hugging arms in together in proper alignment *See images below!

putting on strap, plank

  • If you do not have a strap – use an old tie!

plank with strap


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