Eka Pada Purvottanasana, also known as One-Legged Upward Plank Pose, strengthens the arms, shoulders, and legs while stretches the chest, hamstrings, and hips.
Eka Pada Purvottanasana is an intermediate-level pose that requires strength, balance, and flexibility.
The focus of “Eka Pada Purvottanasana” is to strengthen and stretch the upper body, specifically the arms, shoulders, chest, and legs, while improving balance and stability. This pose requires engagement of the core muscles and stability in the legs, which also helps to improve overall body balance and posture. Additionally, the stretch in the chest and hips can help release tension in these areas and improve flexibility.
|Known as:||Eka Pada Purvottanasana, One-Legged Upward Plank Pose, One Legged Reverse Table Top Pose, One-Legged Upward-Facing Dog Pose, One-Legged Dolphin Pose, One-Legged Upward-Facing Dog Pose, One-Legged Bridge Pose, One-Legged Front Plank Pose, One-Legged Forearm Plank Pose|
|Sanskrit name:||एक पाद पूर्वोत्तनासन|
|IAST:||eka pāda pūrvottānāsana|
|Pronunciation:||eh-kaa paa-daa poor-voh-tahn-aa-sah-na|
|Type:||Balance, strength, stretch|
|Focus:||Upper body, specifically the arms, shoulders, chest, and legs|
|Total time:||30 – 60 seconds|
|Drishti:||Third eye (the space between your eyebrows);|
|Chakra:||Anahata (Heart Chakra), Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra), Svadhishthana (Sacral Chakra)|
|Indications:||Arms, shoulders, core, chest, hips, legs, digestive system, stress, anxiety|
|Counter poses:||Child’s Pose (Balasana), Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana), Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana), Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)|
|Preparatory poses:||Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana), Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)|
|Follow-up poses:||Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III), Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana), Half Pigeon Pose (Ardha Kapotasana), Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana), King Pigeon Pose (Raja Kapotasana)|
|Contraindications:||Carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist injuries, shoulder injuries or rotator cuff issues, neck injuries or neck pain, lower back pain or injuries, recent knee or hip injuries|
The Sanskrit name “Eka Pada Purvottanasana” is derived from five words — Eka + Pada + Purv + Uttana + Asana:
- “Eka” = “one”
- “Pada” = “foot” or “leg”
- “Purv” = “east” or “anterior”
- “Uttana” = “intense stretch” or “extension”
- “Asana” = “pose” or “posture”
So, the name “Eka Pada Purvottanasana” can be translated to mean “One-Legged Intense Anterior Stretch Pose.” This refers to the main action of the pose, which involves stretching the front of the body (especially the chest and hips) while balancing on one leg.
In the practice of “Eka Pada Purvottanasana” is used to build strength, flexibility, balance, and concentration, and to promote the flow of prana, or life force energy, throughout the body. By challenging the body and mind in a safe and controlled way, the practitioner is able to cultivate physical and mental resilience and to develop a greater sense of inner peace and well-being.
Benefits of Eka Pada Purvottanasana
Eka Pada Purvottanasana is a challenging yoga pose that offers a variety of physical and mental benefits, including:
- Physical benefits:
- Strengthening the wrists, arms, shoulders, back, and legs
- Stretching the chest, hips, and hamstrings
- Improving posture and balance
- Enhancing the flexibility of the spine
- Stimulating the digestive and reproductive systems
- Mental benefits:
- Improving concentration and focus
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Boosting self-confidence and sense of grounding
- Cultivating a sense of calm and inner peace
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine and wellness, there are three doshas or biological energies that govern the functioning of the body and mind: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
In the context of yoga, each pose is believed to have an effect on the doshas, either balancing or aggravating them. The effect of a pose on the doshas can depend on factors such as the alignment, intensity, and duration of the pose.
In the case of Eka Pada Purvottanasana, it is said to balance the Pitta dosha, which is associated with fire and metabolism. This pose is also said to be calming for the mind, reducing stress and promoting relaxation, which can also help to balance Vata, the dosha associated with air and movement. Kapha, the dosha associated with earth and structure, may also benefit from this pose by increasing circulation and promoting overall strength and stability.
Note that the effects of the pose on the doshas may vary from person to person, and that it is important to listen to your body and modify or avoid any pose that causes discomfort or strain.
Eka Pada Purvottanasana Practice guide
Eka Pada Purvottanasana is an advanced-level pose, and requires some flexibility and stability in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back. When practiced correctly, this pose can help to release tension, increase flexibility, and improve overall balance and stability.
It’s essential to practice this yoga pose slowly and mindfully, paying attention to your breathing and using props (such as blankets or blocks) if necessary to support your body. If you have any medical conditions or injuries, it’s best to consult with a qualified yoga teacher or instructor before practicing this yoga pose.
Also, remember that practicing yoga is a gradual process, and it may take time to build the strength and flexibility needed to hold “Eka Pada Purvottanasana” for a full 60 seconds. Be patient and kind to yourself, and enjoy the journey of exploring this pose and all the benefits it has to offer.
Here are step-by-step instructions, tips, and common mistakes for practicing this yoga pose:
- Begin upward plank pose with both legs extended in front of you.
- Lift your one leg into the sky, energizing through your toes. Make it your intention to keep the opposite big toe rooted to the ground and lift the hips higher, pressing your foot into the mat to lift your hips higher.
- Keep your gaze forward, or look up towards the ceiling if it feels comfortable.
- Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply and focusing on the sensation in your body.
- To release, lower your hips back down to the mat and release your right foot.
- Repeat on the process from other side.
Practicing Eka Pada Purvottanasana can be invigorating and uplifting for the mind and body when practiced correctly. To get most of out of this yoga pose keep the following tips in mind when practicing this yoga pose:
- Warm up: It’s important to warm up your body before practicing this pose, especially your hips, back, and legs. Consider doing some gentle stretching or other preparatory yoga poses to prepare your body for this pose.
- Use props: If you’re feeling unsteady or if your hips are high off the ground, consider using props such as blocks or blankets to support your body.
- Keep your gaze forward: Keeping your gaze forward can help you maintain balance and stability in the pose.
- Keep your core engaged: Engaging your core can help you maintain balance and stability, as well as protect your lower back from strain.
- Focus on your breath: Focusing on your breath can help you stay present and relaxed in the pose.
- Be patient: It may take time to build up the strength and flexibility needed to hold “Eka Pada Purvottanasana” for a full 60 seconds. Be patient and kind to yourself, and enjoy the journey of exploring this pose and all the benefits it has to offer.
The following common mistakes to watch out for when practicing, which are explained below:
- Round back: Some people tend to round their back when lifting their hips, which can put stress on the lower back and neck. To avoid this, engage your core and keep your back straight.
- Collapsed chest: Collapsing in the chest can make it difficult to maintain balance and stability in the pose. Make sure to lift your chest and keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
- Tilted hips: Tilted hips can throw off your balance and make it difficult to hold the pose. Make sure your hips are level and balanced.
- Pushing beyond your limits: It’s important to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits. If you experience pain or discomfort, release the pose and rest, or seek the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher or healthcare provider.
- Holding your breath: Holding your breath can cause tension and make it difficult to hold the pose. Make sure to breathe deeply and steadily throughout the pose.
Precautions and contraindications
Eka Pada Purvottanasana is a challenging yoga pose that can place a significant amount of stress on certain areas of the body, especially the wrists, shoulders, neck, and lower back.
As a result, it is important to be aware of the following contraindications and to avoid practicing this pose if you have any of the following conditions:
- Lower back injury: If you have a recent or chronic lower back injury, this pose may put added stress on your lower back. It’s best to avoid this pose or seek the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher or healthcare provider.
- Neck injury: If you have a recent or chronic neck injury, it’s important to keep your neck in a neutral position and avoid turning your head to the side.
- Knee injury: If you have a recent or chronic knee injury, it’s important to be mindful of the position of your knee and avoid putting any added stress on the joint.
- High or low blood pressure: If you have low or high blood pressure, it’s important to be mindful of any sudden changes in position, such as standing up quickly from this pose. Move slowly and steadily to avoid any sudden changes in blood pressure.
- Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before practicing this pose, as it may put added stress on your lower back and hips.
Remember that precautions and contraindications are not exhaustive, and it’s important to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits. If you experience pain or discomfort, it’s best to release the pose and rest, or seek the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher or instructor.