Upward plank pose strengthens the legs, arms and wrists. In addition to providing an excellent shoulder and chest stretch, this pose stretches the whole body from the feet to the spine. Depending on the height of the pelvis and hips, upward plank pose also strengthens the hamstrings and glutes.
For many practitioners, upward plank pose can symbolize new possibilities and refreshed energy. The Sanskrit name for the pose means “intense eastward stretch,” and each new day starts with the sun rising in the east. This pose opens the chest, placing the practitioner in a posture of spiritual openness and receptivity at the heart. It may also assist in fighting fatigue or depression due to its energizing effects.
In this pose, the hands can be positioned in three ways. Placing the hands behind the body with the fingers facing away from the body provides a greater chest stretch. With fingers facing toward the body, it provides a greater wrist stretch. The fingers can also be pointed slightly outward to the sides, which may be a gentler choice for those with wrist or shoulder discomfort, but this position requires additional concentration to keep the wrists and shoulders aligned. The practitioner should choose whichever position best suits their needs.