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Yoga Basics: your guide to the practice of yoga
Core Strengthening Poses arrow Plank
Phalakasana
Level of Difficutly: Beginning
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Instructions

1. From Standing Forward Fold, step or jump both feet back 4-5 feet into a push-up position.

2. Spread the fingers wide apart with the middle finger pointing forward, press into the palms with the arms are straight. Tuck the tailbone under so the legs, hips and torso are one straight line. Press the crown of the head forward and with the toes tucked, press the heels back.

3.  Breathe and hold for 1-4 breaths.

4. To release: either bend the knees to the floor into Child pose, or bend the elbows and lower down into Kataranga.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Plank pose builds upper and core body strength, lengthens the spine and strengthens the low back muscles.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the arms, back or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Bend both knees to the floor.

Variations: To build more core strength use the Low Plank variation.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Standing Forward Fold, Downward Dog, High Lunge.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Kataranga, Upward Facing Dog, Child, High Lunge, Table.

Other Names

This pose is also known as Kumbhakasana or Santolasana.