Inclined Plane



Level: Intermediate


1. From Staff posture with the arms behind your hips and the fingers pointed either towards or away from your body, begin to lean back into the palms.

2. Inhale and press down into the palms to lift the hips up toward the ceiling. As the hips lift, engage the legs by pulling up the knee caps and squeezing the thighs.

3. Press the bottoms of the feet flat down into the floor, gently squeeze the buttocks and engage Mula Bandha. Draw the shoulder blades together to lift up through the sternum.

4. Align the body from the toes to the shoulders in one straight line. If it feels safe you can carefully drop the head back.

5. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.

6. To release: slowly exhale the hips back to the floor.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Inclined plane tones and strengthens the whole body (especially core body strength) and opens the chest.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the legs, hips, neck, arms or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Start on the edge of a secure chair using the chair to support the arms as you lift into the pose.
Variations: Crab pose is a variation of Purvottanasana, Inclined Plane pose.


Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Staff pose, Upward Boat, Bound Angle, Side Plank.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Forward Fold, Seated Angle, Tortoise, Sage Twist.

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