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Purvottanasana

Inclined Plane is the common name in English for a Hatha Yoga Exercise, namely «Purvottasana». The «Inclined Plane» is typically practiced after the «Forward Bend», «Paschimottanasana». The muscles stretched in the «Forward Bend» are tensed in the «Inclined Plane». Therefore, the «Inclined Plane» is also considered to be the counter position of the «Forward Bend».

 

Purvottanasana

 

 

Table of Contents

1 Notes and Tips for the Inclined Plane
2 Brief Instruction
3 Further Information about the Inclined Plane

3.1 Tips
3.2 When not to practice the Inclined Plane?
3.3 Effects
3.4 Advanced Variations

4 Videos to Practice

4.1 Exercise Video Inclined Plane: Lateral Variation — Practical Instruction
4.2 Exercise Video for the Inclined Plane in 3 Variations
4.3 Exercise Video Inclined Plane: Dynamic Variation — Practical Instruction

 

 

Notes and Tips for the Inclined Plane

This Asana is a balancing position to the head-knee position — just as the «Fish» balances the other Asanas in the «Shoulderstand». After you have previously placed the head and upper body on the legs, now tilt the body upward and let the head fall backward. This stretches the whole front of the body from head to foot. The higher you push the hips upwards, the more you increase the stretch and strengthen the shoulders, arms and legs. As soon as you get your hips high enough, your spine and back muscles will support your body.

Practicing the «Incline Plane Variations» strengthens all parts of the body and improves your perception in relation of the imbalances between the right and left sides of the body. At first it may seem uncomfortable to hold the position or you may have difficulty to maintaining balance. Repeat the exercises constantly, then relax; in time you will develop enough strength to do the whole sequence of «Inclined Plane Variations».

 

 

Brief Instruction

Starting position is the sitting «Forward Bend» («Paschimottanasana»). Place the palms of your hands on the floor about 20 to 30 cm behind the buttocks. The elbows are straightened, the trunk slightly leaned back. The tips of the hands points backwards. If this causes you too much tension or too much stretching pain in your arms, move your hands to the side or to the front.

Now lift your buttocks and torso. The tips of your feet strives into the ground. If the neck does not show any problems, let the head hang backward and downward. Otherwise bring the head forward and the chin to the chest. Really try to put the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Keep legs and arms straight. Stay in this final position as long as possible. With each inhalation lift the pelvis a little higher. When the strength decreases, lower your buttocks. You can repeat the exercise up to 5 times.

 

 

Further Information about the Inclined Plane

Tips

Pay special attention to the wrists, arms, back and belly. If you notice that too much stretching pain occurs when you hold your hands with your fingers behind your back, this is a clear signal from your body that you may stretch a little more. For this you can put yourself in the «Heel Seat» («Vajrasana»). Open your knees slightly and bring your hands down with the palms of your hands, but the fingertips point to yourself on the floor. Now gently put your body weight on your hands and stretch into your forearms. Deal lovingly with your body and intensify gently. Repeat this more often. You will be amazed how quickly the whole thing opens.

Later, the «Inclined Plane» will be much easier for you.

 

 

When not to practice the Inclined Plane?

Not suitable for high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach ulcer, weak wrists and severe neck problems in the spine.

 

 

Effects

The «Inclined Plane», «Purvottasana», works similar to «Chakrasana». Strengthens the shoulders, thighs and wrists. Invigorates the lumbar area, spine and Achilles tendons. In addition, the «Inclined Plane»" is a well suited counter position to the «Forward Bend».

 

 

Advanced Variations

For advanced variations please see here!

 

 

Videos to Practice

Exercise Video Inclined Plane: Lateral Variation — Practical Instruction

Here Sukadev guides you to the «Inclined Plane» in the lateral variation and shows you how to perform this variation optimally.

 

 

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Exercise Video for the Inclined Plane in 3 Variations

Here you can find an exercise video for practicing the «Inclined Plane» in 3 variations — a practical guide.

 

 

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Exercise Video Inclined Plane: Dynamic Variation — Practical Instruction

The Yoga Exercise «Inclined Plane» from a Yoga lesseon: Sukadev guides you to the «Inclined Plane» as a dynamic variation and shows you how to perform this exercise optimally. More about the «Inclined Plane»: https://wiki.yoga-vidya.de/Schiefe_Ebene.

 

 

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More about the Inclined Plane or Purvottasana.