Core, Neutral Spine
Abdominals, Arms, Full Body, Legs, Wrists
Setup and Key Actions
From downward facing dog, shift forward and stack your shoulders over your wrists, and your heels over the balls of your feet.
Place your hands shoulder-distance apart (or just slightly wider), with your wrist creases parallel to the short edge of your mat and your fingers spread evenly apart; press a little more weight into the inner edges of your hands.
Keep the back of your skull in line with the back of your tailbone, gazing at the floor just in front of you. Press your hands into the ground as though you were pushing it away. You might even notice a little more abdominal engagement as a result of this action, helping to prevent you from compressing your lower back. Press your thighs up toward the ceiling. In the beginning, don’t worry if your hips lift up a bit, as it’s safer to have your hips a little too high than to collapse into your lower back! But once you’ve cultivated the core strength to keep your lower back safe and supported, see if you can press your thighs up without sticking your bottom in the air.
To work these same actions in a less challenging variation, lower both knees to the floor, making sure your knees stay behind your hips (not directly under them, as in table pose). Or lower just one knee to the floor for a “half plank,” being mindful to alternate which knee is on the ground in order to balance use of your body throughout your practice.