CHENNAI: Purv means east and refers to the front of the body from the forehead to the toes. This is a counter pose to the pose we looked at last week (Paschimottanasan). This is a stretch to the anterior body, almost in reverse plank.
Sit on the floor in dandasan with your legs extended. And hands placed 6-8 inches behind the buttocks on the floor and fingers facing forward. (A few people prefer to have their fingers facing back — you can try either option). Slowly push your pelvis off the floor by tightening your buttocks. Maintain your arms straight and your elbows locked (arms will be perpendicular to the floor). Point your toes down into the floor and lean your head back to gaze at the ceiling. The body is supported on the hands and feet (more on the heels). To come out of the pose shift all the weight into the heels and gently lower the mid section to the floor. Relax.
Keep on tightening the buttocks (glutes) to keep the pelvis lifted and the torso almost parallel to the floor. For those with weak wrists an easier MODIFICATION for this pose with one leg bent was given last week.
Do not do this pose if you have a wrist injury.
This opens the chest after the contraction caused by forward bending poses. It improves the movement of the shoulder joint and strengthens the wrists and ankles. It’s a good stretch to the ankle joint as well as the Anterior Tibialis.
(Anshu Vyas Seetharaman is a yoga and fitness trainer at Sri Aurobindo Society, Bengaluru)