That’s how we ‘Plank’ – Santolanasana

Plank is a foundational pose. It teaches you to hold yourself together – like a sturdy wooden plank- giving you the power for complex asanas and the grace to glide with ease through transitions between asanas. Plank or Santolanasana helps in building abdominal strength. If you are a beginner, it is common to see yourself shaking in this practice 😉 As you practice this asana more, you learn to engage the abdominal muscles and over time the upper back and the neck posture will improve. In order to experience these benefits, it’s important to work toward creating a well-aligned Plank Pose. The key here is to engage the core and you will be able to hold the pose with lightness and grace.


Steps in Plank

  1. Begin on the hands and knees, with the wrists directly under the shoulders. Breathe smoothly and evenly through the nose.
  2. Spread the fingers and press down through the forearms and hands. Do not let the chest collapse.
  3. Gaze down between the hands, lengthening the back of your neck and drawing the navel towards the spine.
  4. Tuck the toes in and step back with the feet, bringing the body and head into one straight line.
  5. Keep the thighs lifted and take care not to let the hips sink too low.
  6. Keep your head in line with your spine. Broaden across your shoulder blades and across your collarbones.
  7. The action is to constantly lift away from the floor.
  8. Hold the pose for five breaths. If you want to challenge yourself hold for a longer period of time.

Things to keep in mind while doing the Plank

  • Avoid hyper-extension of the elbows by engaging the biceps
  • Bring the pelvis into alignment by pressing the tops of your thighs upward, while lengthening your tailbone back towards the heel.
  • If the neck is strained, lengthen it by lifting the back of the head toward the ceiling until the ears line up with the shoulders.

plank benefits card

Contraindications: If you have any of these, avoid practicing plank.

  • Chronic wrist pain or carpel tunnel syndrome.
  • Upper body injuries including back, neck, shoulder or arms.

Plank is incredibly effective at building strength in both the body and the mind. Holding it for extended periods will build endurance and determination. Make this a part of your routine practice and then watch as your power increases! Happy Planking!

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