Crab Pose

Ardha purvottanasana

What is Crab Pose?

Crab pose, also known as reverse table top and ardha purvottanasana in Sanskrit, is a mild beginner's backbend that strengthens the arms and improves posture. With the hands aligned under the shoulders and feet under the knees, the yogi uses strength to keep their front body lifted toward the sky.


  • Sit on the buttocks with the knees bent, feet hip distance wide and flat on the floor.
  • Place the hands on the floor behind you, shoulder distance wide and fingers pointing in.
  • Inhale and lift the hips, bringing the torso parallel to the floor. The feet should be under the knees and hands under the shoulders.
  • Breathe while holding the pose.
  • Exhale and lower.


  • Avoid if there is wrist injury.

Benefits of Crab Pose

  • Opens the chest
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, abdomen and hamstrings
  • Strengthens the core
  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, legs and back
  • Boosts energy and relieves fatigue
  • Improves posture
  • Relieves stress
  • Creates a sense of balance

Crab Pose Details
Sanskrit Name: Ardha purvottanasana
Pronunciation: ar-dhah PUR-voht-TAH-NAH-sah-nah
Pose Level: Beginner
Drishti: Urdhva (Toward the sky)
Pose Type: Backbends, Chest Openers, Core, Strength

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