Purvottanasana - Intense pose of the East (or front-body), aka Upward Facing Plank

When teaching, allot 1 minute for demo, 2 minutes to get your students into the pose. 

Little practice sequence to learn Purvottanasana:
  1. Down Dog -Straighten both arms, straighten both legs.  Press the roots of the fingers and thumbs down well as you straighten your arms completely.  Draw the triceps in to the back corner of the armpit.  Reach your heels back and down as you take the thighs back.  Firm the knees and draw the quads up to straighten the legs completely.   
  2. Up Dog - Keep you legs working as you did in the previous 2 poses.  Press your hands down to lift your breastbone up.  Roll your shoulders back and draw you rlower shoulderblades close to the spine and deep into the body to roll the armpit chest open and up.
  3. Ustrasana
  4. Chatoosh Padasana - Lenghthen your buttocks to your knees, learn to  keep the lumbar spine long!
  5. Urdhva Dhanurasana, pushing up from a chair
  6. Dandasana
  7. Dandasana to Purvottanasana
Instructions for getting into Purvottanasana
  1. From Dandasana, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor
  2. Press your hands down with straight arms and pull your triceps up and into the bone
  3. Exhale, press your feet down to swing your hips forward toward your feet then scoop up and lift your hips.  Continue pressing your hands down.
  4. Take your tailbone in to your body as you roll your buttocks towards your knees to elongate your lumbar spine.  Keep your tailbone well higher than your lumbar spine.
  5. Keeping your tailbone higher than your lumber, keeping your lumbar long, keeping your buttocks lengthening towards your knees, straighten one leg at a time.  Draw your hamstrings towards your buttocks.
  6. Press your heels down to firm your legs, sharpen your knees, and lift your hips up.  Keep your tailbone moving towards your pubis.
  7. Press your hands down as you draw your shoulder blades in towards your spine to lift the armpit chest up and towards your head.  Keep your shoulders plumb vertical over your wrists as you puff your armpit chest up towards the ceiling.
  8. Keep your armpit chest puffed up as you lengthen your neck and head back.
  9. Without losing the lift and length of the chest, point the toes to the floor.  Do not let the chest move towards the hips at all!
  10. To come out of the pose, bend your elbows and knees and lower your buttocks to the floor. 
Practice Purvottanasana with Backbends.  If you practice this pose sloppily with forward bends, it could potentially put you at a higher risk for slipped discs.  Make sure your tailbone is well higher than your lumbar!

Modifications:  Keep the knees bent.

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