Definition - What does Phalakasana mean?

Phalakasana, also known as kumbhakasana, is a beginner yoga pose that strengthens the core, wrists, hands, arms and lower back muscles. The name of the pose comes from Sanskrit phalaka, meaning "plank," "board" or "bench," and asana meaning "pose."

From standing forward bend, both feet step or jump four to five feet back, placing the balls of the feet on the mat with straight legs. Arms are straight, palms press into the mat right below the shoulders. The tailbone tucks under and the heels, legs, hips, spine and head form a straight line. Abdominals are strongly engaged and the tailbone stays long.

Phalakasana is commonly referred to as plank pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Phalakasana

In the beginning, it might be a little challenging to stay in this asana for a long time. There is an easier variation with both knees bent to the floor. Those with sensible or weak wrists can practice this pose on their forearms, but this version also requires more core strength. There is also an option to lift one leg at a time in order to make this pose even stronger.

Phalakasana is part of the vinyasa sequence and many versions of Sun Salutations. One should focus on the breath and on building the inner strength while practicing this asana.

Phalakasana is great for stimulating the manipura (solar plexus chakra). This chakra helps to balance confidence, inner strength and humility. If it is out of balance, stagnation, self-doubt and arrogance may occur.

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