(Phalakasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Intermediate

Plank Pose

(Phalakasana)

Plank Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), on an inhalation shift forward, stacking shoulders over wrists, feet in neutral, pressing back energetically through the heels.

2

Ankles, knees, and hips face the floor, thighs hug in toward one another in a slight internal rotation, kneecaps gently activate and lift.

3

Hip points level and square to the floor, front ribs knit in as tailbone lengthens toward heels. 

4

Side bodies lengthen away from hips, shoulders draw down and back, chest widens and heart shines forward.

5

Weight evenly distributed in both hands, wrist, elbow and shoulder joints in line.  Head is a natural extension of the neck, neck and jaw relaxed.

6

Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, energy out the heels.

7

To come out of the pose, on an exhalation lower the knees onto the mat and rest in Child’s Pose (Balasana).

Variations/Modifications

  • Place knees on the floor
  • Squeeze a block between the thighs 
  • Use a strap around upper arms
  • Wedges under wrists or come onto forearms (wrist injuries)

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Increases core strength
  • Aligns the joints and strengthens the muscles of the wrists, arms, shoulder girdle, ankles hips and knees
  • Promotes a positive mood
  • Encourages good posture
  • Relieves lower back pain

Contraindications

  • Wrist Injury (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Overall weakness

Thoughtful Sequencing

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Plank, repeat 3X, Hold Plank, Rest in Child’s Pose (Balasana). Repeat sequence 3X.

Want more yoga pose tutorials? See more in my Yoga Pose Directory.

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