Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II): Steps, Benefits, and Contraindications

Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II) - SharpMuscle
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Dekasana II, also known as Airplane Pose II, strengthens the legs, quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, core muscles, abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back, while increasing the range of motion and suppleness in hips, hamstrings, and lower back.


Known as:Dekasana II, Airplane Pose II
Sanskrit name:देकासना II
IAST:Dekāsana II
Pronunciation:deh-ka-sa-na II
Type:Balance, stretch, strength
Focus:Legs , arms, shoulders
Total time:30 seconds to 1 minute
Chakra:Swadisthana (Sacral Chakra), Muladhara (Root Chakra), Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra)
Indications:Legs, quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, core muscles, abdominal muscles, obliques, lower back, stability, posture, stress, relaxation, spinal health, vitality
Counterposes:Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Balasana (Child’s Pose), Virasana (Hero Pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Preparatory poses:Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose), Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose), Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge Pose ), Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend Pose)
Follow-up poses:Balasana (Child’s Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose), Vrikshasana (Tree Pose), Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Padmasana (Lotus Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Contraindications:Knee or Hip injuries, High blood pressure, Herniated discs, Sciatica, or Chronic pain, Pregnant women

Benefits of Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II)

The benefits of Dekasana II may vary from person to person, and consistency in practice is key to experiencing the benefits.

The physical, mental and emotional benefits of Airplane Pose II are listed below:

Physical Benefits:

  • Strengthens the legs, quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, core muscles, abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back
  • Improves the stability and posture
  • Improves the flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back
  • Increases the range of motion and suppleness in hips, hamstrings, and lower back
  • Enhances the spinal health
  • Relieves the tension and discomfort in the back
  • Improves the alance and coordination skills, leading to improves the overall stability and body awareness
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Mental and Emotional Benefits:

  • Calm the mind
  • Improves the mental clarity and enhances the concentration skills both on and off the mat
  • Reduces the stress and promote relaxation
  • Improves the mind-body connection
  • Promotes a deeper connection with oneself, fostering self-awareness and a greater sense of well-being
  • Increases the vitality and uplift the spirit

Step-by-step Instructions to Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II)

  1. Following the completion of the Surya Namaskar, prepare your body for Dekasana II.
  2. Dekasana II involves engaging the core and elongating the spine, bending forward and downward.
  3. Separate your feet slightly wider than the width of your hips. Position your left foot at a 90-degree angle, while your right foot turns inward approximately 30 degrees.
  4. Inhale and lengthen your body upwards. As you exhale, pivot your upper body from the hips towards the left, facing your left foot.
  5. Inhale again and bend your left knee, bringing your chest close to your left thigh. Extend your arms to the sides, parallel to your shoulders.
  6. Exhale fully and find balance, aligning your face parallel to the floor.
  7. Ensure your abdominal muscles are deeply engaged, and the entire front of your body is parallel to the mat or floor, allowing for proper expansion of the spine.
  8. Maintain this pose for more than six breaths, while maintaining awareness of your abdominal muscles. This will gradually help strengthen and tone your core muscles.
  9. Inhale deeply and straighten your left leg, lifting your torso away from your left thigh.
  10. Exhale as you pivot your upper body back to face forward, aligning it with your hips.
  11. Slowly bring your left foot back in, next to your right foot.
  12. Take a moment to center yourself and maintain a neutral standing position.
  13. Repeat the same sequence on the opposite side if desired, starting by placing your right foot out at 90 degrees and following the instructions from steps 4 to 8.

Common Mistakes

Common mistakes of the Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II) are explaining below:

  1. Poor alignment: One common mistake is not aligning the feet and legs properly. This can happen when the left foot is not positioned at a 90-degree angle or the right foot is not turned in approximately 30 degrees. Improper alignment can affect the stability and balance of the asana.
  2. Lack of core engagement: Failing to engage the core muscles can result in a weak and unstable posture. It is essential to keep the abdominal muscles pulled in deep throughout the asana to maintain stability and support the spine.
  3. Rounded back: Allowing the back to round forward instead of extending it deeply can compromise the integrity of the pose. This may occur due to a lack of flexibility or body awareness. It is important to focus on lengthening the spine and extending the back forward and downward.
  4. Insufficient depth in the bend: Another mistake is not bending the knee deeply enough or not bringing the body close to the left thigh. This can limit the stretch and engagement of the targeted muscles. It is crucial to bend the knee adequately and bring the body as close to the thigh as possible while maintaining proper alignment.
  5. Lack of balance: Maintaining balance in the asana can be challenging, especially if the focus is not placed on grounding and finding stability. Failing to distribute weight evenly or neglecting to align the face parallel to the floor can disrupt balance. Mindful awareness and adjustments are necessary to achieve a stable and balanced position.
  6. Holding breath or shallow breathing: Holding the breath or taking shallow breaths during the pose can lead to tension and restrict the flow of energy. It is important to maintain deep and rhythmic breathing throughout the pose, allowing for relaxation and focus.
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Modifications and Variations

The purpose of modifications and variations is to make the pose more accessible, adaptable, and safe for practitioners of different levels, body types, and abilities. They allow individuals to tailor the practice to their specific needs and gradually progress at their own pace, ensuring a positive and fulfilling experience on the mat.

However, the modifications and variations of Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II) are explaining below:

1. Foot Placement Modification

Instead of placing the left foot at a 90-degree angle and the right foot turned in about 30 degrees, a modification can be made to accommodate individual flexibility and comfort. One can choose to reduce the angle of the left foot or keep both feet parallel to each other. This modification allows for a more accessible and stable posture, especially for those with limited hip mobility.

2. Use of Props

Props such as blocks or a bolster can be utilized to provide support and stability. Placing a block under the hand or extending the arms onto a bolster can assist in maintaining balance and alignment. Props are particularly helpful for beginners or individuals with limited flexibility or strength.

3. Wall Assistance

Practicing Dekasana II with the support of a wall can provide additional stability and confidence. By standing close to a wall and placing the fingertips or hand lightly on the wall, practitioners can enhance their balance and gradually work towards finding more depth and extension in the asana.

4. Chair Modification

For individuals who find it challenging to balance or have difficulty with the forward bend, a chair modification can be utilized. Standing in front of a chair, one can rest the hands or forearms on the chair seat while maintaining proper alignment. This modification allows for a supported and controlled variation of the asana.

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5. Dynamic Variation

Instead of holding the asana statically, a dynamic variation can be introduced by adding movement to enhance strength and flexibility. This can include flowing in and out of the asana with the breath, gently pulsing forward and backward, or incorporating variations like twisting while in the asana. Dynamic variations add a new dimension to the practice and help to improve overall body awareness and control.

Precautions and Contraindications of Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II)

Consider precautions and contraindications for Dekasana II (Airplane Pose II) in order to ensure a safe and beneficial practice. The precautions and contraindications of Airplane Pose II are explaining below:

1. Knee or Hip Injuries

If you have a knee or hip injury, it is crucial to approach Dekasana II with caution or avoid it altogether. The asana involves a deep bend in the front knee and requires stability and strength in the lower body. Putting excessive pressure on injured knees or hips can exacerbate the condition or cause further damage. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a knowledgeable yoga instructor/teacher for suitable modifications or alternative asanas that don’t strain the affected areas.

2. Low Back Issues

Individuals with low back problems, such as herniated discs, sciatica, or chronic pain, should be cautious while performing Airplane Pose II. The forward bend and extension of the spine in the asana may place additional stress on the lower back. It is crucial to maintain proper alignment, engage the core muscles, and avoid overstretching or rounding the back. Modifying the yoga asana with the guidance of an experienced teacher can help protect the lower back and prevent discomfort or injury.

3. High Blood Pressure

If you have uncontrolled or severe high blood pressure, it is advisable to avoid deep forward bends like Dekasana II. These asanas can lead to a sudden increase in blood pressure due to the change in body position and exertion. Instead, choose gentle standing asanas or seated postures that promote relaxation and stability. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before practicing yoga if you have hypertension or any cardiovascular concerns.

4. Balance Issues

Individuals with balance issues or conditions that affect proprioception should exercise caution while performing Airplane Pose II. Maintaining balance in the asana requires stability and body awareness. Practicing near a wall or using props for support can help improve balance and prevent falls. Focus on finding a stable foundation and gradually work on the asana with the guidance of a skilled yoga instructor/teacher.

5. Pregnancy

Pregnant women should approach Dekasana II with care. As the asana involves deep forward bending and engagement of the core muscles, it may not be suitable for all stages of pregnancy. Women in the later stages of pregnancy or those experiencing discomfort should avoid or modify the pose to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby. It is crucial to consult with a prenatal yoga specialist or healthcare provider for appropriate modifications and guidance.

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