Your high plank pose is a full body strength pose which will create total integration between upper and lower body. It has so many benefits for your practice especially in developing core strength and for working towards other arm balances. High Plank appears in all variations of the Sun Salutations and your vinyasa practice and builds heat in the body. We also practice Plank as a pose in its own right.
Practice your planks often!
How to get into the pose:
From All Fours or Downward Facing Dog, inhale forward so that your shoulders are stacked over your wrists and your heels over the balls of your feet.
Create a solid foundation through your hands, pressing down firmly under your knuckles.
Keep your neck long, looking down towards the mat. Extend the crown of your head forward as you send your heels back - creating a long, solid plank.
Firm up through the legs.
Draw your abdominal muscles in and up (engage uddiyana bandha).
Take deep breaths.
To transition from the pose your teacher may guide you to Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana) or to Knees - Chest Chin. Alternatively, exhale to push back to Downward Facing Dog or drop the knees down and rest in Childs Pose.
Remember to create the balance between effort and ease in your pose.
How long to stay in the pose:
Five to ten breaths
Modifications you can take to make this pose more accessible:
Reduce the intensity of High Plank by dropping your knees to the mat
Take Table Top / All Fours pose as an alternative
There are many variations you can combine to experience different planks:
Tiger planks - curl your knee to your nose, tricep or opposite elbow on an exhale, keeping your shoulders stacked over your wrists
One leg plank and beyond to a one leg Chaturanga Dandasana
Contraindications / Cautions:
Do not practice full plank pose if you have a wrist injury or wrist condition such as Repetitive Strain Injury. Be cautious if you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.