[Pose Of the Week] Reverse Table Top Pose (Beginner)

Stretch & strengthen your entire body, improve balance & posture, & more in Reverse Table Top Pose…

Reverse Table Top Pose (Ardha Purvottanasana) – also known as Tabletop Pose, Half Reverse Plank Pose, or Crab Pose – is a beginner-level yoga pose that’s particularly great to do after sitting in a car or at a desk for longer periods of time.

This pose offers a great stretch for the upper and front body, including the shoulders, chest, arms, abdomen, and psoas muscles, while also building strength in the lower body, arms, and core and spinal muscles. It is believed to support heart and lung health, while activating the Heart Chakra.  Crab Pose may also help to improve balance and posture, and is thought to be an energizing pose, relieving stress and fatigue, and improving overall wellbeing.

Reverse Table/Crab Pose is a great beginner alternative to Reverse Plank Pose, as it is easier for those with less flexibility and core strength.

According to YogaPedia.com, the emotional benefits of Ardha Purvottanasana include:

  • Activates the heart chakra
  • Promotes emotional stability
  • Alleviates fear
  • Improves self-expression
  • Develops love and compassion
  • Promotes forgiveness and acceptance

If you have trouble lifting your hips in this pose, you may also rest your hips on a yoga block or bolster, and practice lifting your hips and holding longer as you grow stronger. It may take some time to be able to hold the pose for the full amount of time, so take your time, and be patient with yourself! If it doesn’t feel comfortable to drop your head back in the pose, you can also tuck your chin towards the chest and keep your gaze towards the ceiling.

Those with carpal tunnel syndrome, or any shoulder, neck, or wrist injury should not practice this pose.

How to Do Reverse Table Top Pose:

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your arms resting at your sides in Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana).
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Place your hands several inches behind your hips, shoulder-width apart. Press your palms flat, and turn your fingertips inward so they point in the same direction you are facing (toward your toes).
  4. Inhaling, press firmly into your hands and feet. Straighten your elbows, and lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Draw your shoulder blades firmly into your back and lift your chest. Try to bring your chest, torso, and knees into one straight line, parallel to the floor.
  5. Keep your legs active and firm, but do not squeeze your buttocks. Press down through all ten toes.
  6. If you are comfortable here, then gently drop your head back so the crown of your head faces the floor. Gaze gently at the wall behind you. Breathe softly.
  7. Hold for 5-10 breaths. To release, slowly lower your hips to the mat. Extend your legs and come back into Dandasana.
Learn More at EverydayYoga.com


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