Reverse Prayer Pose

Definition - What does Reverse Prayer Pose mean?

Reverse prayer pose is an advanced shoulder, arm and chest stretch that is a variation of mountain pose.

To practice reverse prayer pose, stand in mountain with the feet together or shoulder-width apart, then reach the arms around to the back until the palms touch in a praying-hands position with the fingers pointing skyward.

In Sanskrit, reverse prayer pose is typically called tadasana paschima namaskar, but may also be called paschima namaskarasana or viparita namaskarasana, depending on the specific yoga tradition. In English, it may also be called penguin pose, westward prayer pose or inverted prayer pose.

Yogapedia explains Reverse Prayer Pose

Reverse prayer pose is practiced for the following benefits:

  • Opens the chest and abdomen, improving lung function
  • Reduces stress and calms the mind
  • Builds confidence
  • Improves flexibility in the shoulders, arms chest and back
  • Relieves mild depression and anxiety
  • Improves posture

Yogis with shoulder or wrist injuries should avoid reverse prayer pose and instead practice mountain pose with a less challenging arm position, such as prayer position in front of the chest or arms extended overhead. Those with low blood pressure or who suffer from insomnia or headaches should exercise caution if practicing reverse prayer pose for a prolonged time.

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