Plank (everyone’s favorite pose) is often overlooked, especially in a fast-paced flow class, as a transition -- and is possibly one of the most common and drastically misaligned poses (aside from its counterpart, Chaturanga Dandasana).
So I’ve set out to build steady, strong, and healthy Plank Poses in my classes, developing my students' understanding and building strength by finding Tadasana (Mountain Pose) in Plank Pose. Here’s how:
Finding Plank Pose in Tadasana
Start standing in Tadasana with your feet parallel, sitting bone distance apart, and your arms lengthened down at your sides. Press down into the four corners of your feet, activating the muscles of your legs, and on an inhale, lengthen up through the sides of your body.
Exhale, broaden your collarbones, move the head of your arm bones back and lightly hug your shoulder blades onto your back. Lengthen your tailbone down as you gently lift your sternum up, lightly toning your core.
Make sure that your chin is parallel to the floor and move the base of your skull back until the center of your ears are in line with the tops of your shoulders. Steady your gaze on the horizon.
Key points to notice:
- Your legs are working as you root down from the pelvis.
- Collarbones are broad and your shoulders are drawing back.
- Your neck is in line with the rest of your spine.
The next step is to find Tadasana lying on your back. Repeat the same steps as above, only this time the bottoms of your feet will be facing forward with your heels resting on the mat. Continue to engage your legs as your press out the four corners of your feet and as you draw your shoulder blades back.
You now have the feedback of the floor for reference. Notice that the back of your head, shoulders, buttocks and heels are all in the same line (pressed against the floor). Close your eyes, take a few deeper breaths, and feel how the back of your body is lined up.
Finally, you’re ready to find Tadasana in Plank Pose.
Finding Tadasana in Plank Pose
Begin by coming into a Plank position, stacking your shoulders over your wrists with straight arms. Firm your outer arms in, and press down strongly through the base of your index finger. Broaden your collarbones and hug your shoulder blades onto your back.
Engage your legs. Spread through all ten toes, pressing out through the big toe mound. Draw your upper thighs away from the floor and lengthen your tailbone down toward your heels, lightly lifting your low belly in and up.
Lift the base of your skull up, bringing your face away from the floor and your neck in line with the rest of your spine. Gaze slightly forward out in front of your mat.
Find Tadasana and hold for five breaths.
Thanks for playing along! Were you able to find Tadasana? Was it helpful? Let us know in the comments below!