Reverse Prayer Pose, (Pashchima Namaskarasana)
* Paschim = west, in this context, it means backside
* Namaskar = greeting
* Asana = pose
* Also known as Viparita Namaskarasana & Penguin Pose
5 Reasons You Need Reverse Prayer Pose:
1. Releases tension from your shoulders and collarbone area
2. Aids in wrist and forearm flexibility
3. Stretches and opens tight wrists and hands
4. Amazing counter-pose for activities that require griping your hands
5. Helps open up the chest
Reverse Prayer Pose Instructions:
1. Bring your arms behind your back and join the palms with fingertips facing downward.
2. As you inhale, turn the fingertips inwards towards the spine and bring them to face upwards OR refer to Version 2 if needed due to tightness.
3. Do not excessively push the chest and ribs forward, rather bring the back against the hands, the blade of the hands should be firmly against the back.
4. Hold for as long as you feel needed to feel stretch.
5. As you exhale, slowly turn the fingertips downward OR slowly release Version 2 modification.
Although the classic version of the pose is difficult, if not impossible, for some people, a second variation, where you hold your elbows or forearms, makes the pose accessible to almost everyone.
Reverse Prayer Pose VERSION 2:
– Take your arms out to your sides with your elbows bent to a 90-degree angle and your palms facing forward.
– Spin your forearms forward and down (this is internal rotation) so your fingertips point down toward the floor.
– Bring your right forearm behind your back so the forearm rests on your lower back.
– Bring your left arm in as well, grabbing your left forearm or elbow with your right hand.
– Spin your left hand around to grab your right forearm or elbow.
Wrist & Shoulder Health:
Rolling your shoulders back further and slowly pressing your hands into prayer behind your back will strengthen the tendons in your wrists to discourage carpal tunnel and tendonitis.
Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.
If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing any Yoga practice.