Plank Pose – Phalakasana

Plank pose is one of the yoga poses that is widely accepted in the fitness world.

Various exercise systems apply the plank pose and the many variations that have arisen from it.


Phalak in Sanskrit means plank, and Asana means pose.

In addition to this name, the plank pose is also known as Kumbhakasana and Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana.

Kumbhaka means pause and refers to the breathing pattern.

Utthita means stretched, Chatur means four, Anga means limb, and Danda means staff (extended four-limbed staff pose).

The plank pose belongs to the group of beginner poses. At the same time, it is classified as a pose of lower balance, considering that during the practice of this pose, the person leans on the yoga mat with his palms and toes.

The Manipura Chakra is activated and balanced by practicing this asana.

The element that is associated with this asana is fire.


Plank pose is an excellent pose in which you can practice the proper application of mula and uddiyana bandha (muscle contractions).

Thanks to the application of these two bandhas during the plank pose, you will be able to stay longer in this pose.

Also, thanks to the correct application of these two bandhas, you will be able to apply them in a very easy and simple way when practicing the other poses that develop the strength of your body.

Due to its simplicity of execution, this asana is used in various styles of yoga. Above all, it is an integral part of the vinyasa and ashtanga systems, within which it is used as a transitional asana.

The asana itself, considering the number of variations that have come from it, can be practiced as a static asana or as a dynamic asana.

Static asana involves staying in the same pose for a certain number of breaths, usually between ten and twenty.

A dynamic asana implies that there is a merging of two variations into one movement or the merging of two different poses into one movement (for example, the transition from the plank pose to the downward-facing dog).

In this article, in addition to the full pose, we will indicate two variations of the plank pose so that you will have the opportunity to choose the variation that suits you best at the moment.

The correct pose of the plank pose means that your whole body is engaged, and every muscle in your body is active during the execution of this pose.

In order to stay as long as possible in this asana, in addition to applying mula and uddiyana bandha, it is important to spread the fingers of your hands as much as possible. In this way, you will achieve better support by distributing the weight of your body over more points of support.

In plank pose, your arms are fully extended and shoulder-width apart. Your back is fully stretched, and the entire back of your body has an upward line, from your heels all the way to the top of your head. Your toes are active the entire time, creating resistance by pushing off the yoga mat.

In the full pose, your gaze is directed at the tip of your nose, while your chin is slightly bent inward towards the sternum, but not too much, as your neck should be in a neutral position, completely relaxed.

Try to stay in the pose for ten inhalations and exhalations if you can extend it to twenty inhalations and exhalations.

Considering that the plank pose primarily develops the strength of your arms, if you are not able to practice the full pose right now, you can do its easier variation which involves lowering your knees to the yoga mat.

In this way, you will get two additional supports. Feel free to practice this variation until you develop strength in your hands. Be sure to apply mula and uudiyana bandha while practicing this variation.

On the other hand, if you can stay in the plank pose for twenty breaths without difficulty, it may be time to try a slightly more challenging variation.

In this variation, you will lower your forearms onto the yoga mat. The back of the body no longer has an upward line, but the back of the body is completely level with the yoga mat.

Try to stay for ten inhalations and exhalations, if you can extend it to twenty.


By regularly practicing this asana, you will:

1.Strengthen your legs
2. Strengthen your hands
3. Strengthen your wrists
4. Strengthen your abdominal muscles
5. Strengthen your muscles of the back and glutes
6. Open the space between your shoulder blades
7. Improve your overall posture
8. Reduce or completely get rid of your back pain

Practicing this asana will strengthen your core and prepare your body in terms of strength for more challenging asanas and demanding balance poses.

A regular practice of this pose will improve your focus and concentration.

At the same time, it will improve your breathing technique. Your breathing technique will improve because if you want to stay longer in the plank pose, you have to breathe completely three-layered and in complete peace. Your every inhale and exhale will be more conscious and will last longer.

Thanks to the plank pose, you will be strengthened both physically and mentally.


As we mentioned, you can practice the static and dynamic asanas.

When it comes to dynamic asanas, they are physically more demanding than static asanas. But static asanas are more mentally challenging, given that you stay in one pose for a certain time. On the other hand, dynamic asanas involve constant movement from one pose to another.

So, if you want to work more on your mental strength, we advise you to focus on static asanas. However, if you want to get physically stronger, dynamic asanas are definitely for you.

Although the plank pose belongs to the group of beginner poses, do not approach it without the necessary dose of caution. It is very important that you stretch your wrists and ankles before practicing the plank pose and its variations. The same goes for your knees and neck.

If you have recently had an injury or surgery on your wrists, ankles, neck, or back, you should avoid practicing this asana for a certain period of time.

About the author

Urosh Martinovic

Urosh Martinovic is a yoga and mindfulness teacher. He has experience in more than 7,000 guided classes. His work includes 1 on 1 online classes and workshops. Uros is a founder of holistic portal for Balkan Moja Solja Joge (My cup of yoga).