Southeast WI Archive
  • Southeast Wisconsin
  • May 2015
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The basics of Plank Pose — Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

Plank is a static exercise. It does not require movement, so it is important to keep the body properly stimulating the Manipura Chakra for personal power.

How to perform Plank Pose

Lie on your stomach on the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lift from the lying position on your elbows. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Rely only on your forearms and the front tips of your feet. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders.

Keep your body as flat as possible; strain the abdominal muscles and do not relax. Try not to lower your hips toward the floor.

Feet: Assemble them. It will be difficult to keep your balance; that will increase pressure on your abdominal muscles.

Legs: They should be straight and tight, otherwise, the pressure in your right abdominal muscle, which reserves the lumbar spine, will also be reduced.

Buttocks: Stretch and do not relax until the end of the exercise, as this increases the activation of all muscles of the lower torso.

Lower back: The most important part. For proper execution of this exercise, your lower back should be flat. This means it must not be curved or swayed. Imagine that your back adheres tightly to the wall.

Stomach: Bring it in, and in such a position, try to even tuck it under your ribs. During the exercise, hold your stomach in this position but do not hold your breath.

Elbows: To avoid unnecessary burden on your shoulders, put your elbows directly below the shoulder joints.

Hold this pose as long as you can. Ten seconds is enough to begin with. As a rule, people with different physical readiness levels maintain this posture for 10 seconds to two minutes.

After a break of two minutes, repeat the exercise. Five repetitions will be enough. If you are a beginner, do not try to break the record; start slowly.

The chakra connection

The Manipura Chakra, located at the naval or solar plexus, is the third of the seven major chakras that lie along the Shushumna Nadi, the spine. Chakras are swirling energy centers found throughout the body that are also associated with areas containing large bundles of nerve endings. Bringing your focus to these areas and practicing postures that engage and open the muscles associated with them can help to balance the flow of energy through the chakra.

Manipura is our center for personal power. This is the chakra where the energy for turning ideas into actions flows. Responsibility, self-confidence and humility all flow from here, as do inactivity, self-doubt and arrogance. Finding the correct balance in this chakra allows us to harness energy for being positive and proactive.

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Andrea Smessaert

Andrea Smessaert is a yoga and aerial yoga instructor who developed the aerial yoga teacher training program and upcoming retreats with Reaching Treetops Yoga. Alyssa Konda opened Reaching Treetops Yoga, which has branched out to offer not only yoga and aerial yoga, but also tai chi and Zumba classes, massage therapy and holistic health services as well. For more information, visit or call Alyssa at 262-501-1572.

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