Inclined Plane – Purvottanasana

Inclined Plane is a very good pose to strengthen the shoulders, arms, wrists and hips. It increases flexibility and develops balance and coordination.

Inclined Plane – Purvottanasana




Manipura/Solar Plexus Chakra


Purva means east and uttana means intense stretch.

Benefits of Inclined Plane Pose

Regular practice steadily and comfortably within a balanced yoga asana program:

  •  Works as a counter-pose to seated forward bends and increases the effect of these poses by increasing the blood flow to the stomach, gallbladder, liver, spleen, and pancreas
  • gives a gentle backbend to your entire spine, especially in the thoracic spine (chest opener)
  • Tones arms, shoulders, and wrists
  • Increases core strength.

Instructions for Inclined Plane Pose

How to come into the pose

  1. Sit with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Keep your hands next to your hips, fingers facing backwards.
  3. Pull your shoulders to your ears, open your chest, lean back, and place your hands flat on the floor.
  4. As you breathe in, point your feet, push your hips upward, open your chest, and gently drop your head backwards.
  5. Keep pushing your pelvis up toward the ceiling, feet into the floor, and allow your shoulders to roll back and your chest to expand.

Coming out of the pose

  • Breathing in, look at your feet as you bring your hips down. Then lie down on your stomach in Crocodile Pose.

Alignment Cues for Inclined Plane Pose

  • Activate your inner thighs to keep your legs parallel and close together.
  • Open your chest to the maximum and take deep breaths.
  • Your wrists and shoulders should be in one vertical line when you are in the pose. Make sure that when you are in the pose, your shoulders are not further back than your wrists, because this can strain your wrists.
  • Also make sure that your shoulders are not in front of your wrists, as this will limit the movement.

Duration of Hold

  • Beginners: 10–20 seconds
  • Intermediate: 20–40 seconds
  • Advanced: 40–90 seconds


  • If you have hyperextended elbows, turn your fingertips toward your feet.
  • If releasing your head backwards is too heavy on your neck, causes dizziness, or is just not comfortable, you can look toward the ceiling.

Cautions and Contra-indications

  • Wrist issues
  • Shoulder issues
  • Neck issues
  • Hypertension and hypotension

Relevant Poses

Rest in Corpse Pose and then move on to Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana.

For more yoga asanas and exercises, make sure to visit Arhanta Yoga Asana Guide!

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