Reverse Table Top Pose – Ardha Purvottanasana

Reverse Table Top Pose or Ardha Purvottanasana is similar to the normal Table Top Pose, except that the face and chest is facing upwards in this yoga asana. It is so called because in the final position, the body is flat on top like a table and is supported by four legs (2 knees and 2 palms) with the front of the body facing towards the ceiling.

This is a beginner level pose and is easy to perform.

Reverse Table Top Pose - Ardha Purvottanasana

How to do Reverse Table Top Pose?

  1. Start by sitting in Dandasana. Here you are sitting on the floor with the two legs spread out in front of you.
  2. Bend the knees and place the two feet on the floor. Leave a good gap between the hips and the feet so that when you lift yourself up, there is a good distance between hips and knees.
  3. Take the hands and place it behind the buttocks, on the sides with the fingers of the palm pointing forward.
  4. Inhale and take a deep breath. Lift your body up using the two hands and the two feet.
  5. Adjust your position so that the wrists are under your shoulders and the lower legs form a 90 degrees angle with the thighs. The trunk should be kept horizontal and parallel to the ground. The chest should face the ceiling. The neck can be kept straight and gaze facing upwards. Do not bend the neck backwards. You may also close your eyes if you are comfortable. Press the floor with your two feet with the toes firmly gripping the floor. Let there be no tension the buttock muscles.
  6. Maintain this position for as long as you are comfortable.
  7. To release the pose, bend your neck forward and lower your buttocks to touch the ground. Straighten the legs and keep it slightly apart in a relaxed way. Place the hands behind the back and rest in this position with the neck resting on the either of the shoulders.


Benefits of Reverse Table Top Pose

  1. This asana strengthens the arms, wrists and legs.
  2. Reverse Table Top Pose or Ardha Purvottanasana can be used as a counter pose for forward bending asana.
  3. It strengthens the core muscles around the hips, abdomen and spine.
  4. It can re-align the spine and remove minor postural defects.


Contraindications for Reverse Table Top Pose

  1. Those suffering from injury of knees or wrist should avoid Ardha Purvottanasana or reverse table top pose.
  2. If you are suffering from neck injury or spondylitis, avoid this pose. However, you can try it with the neck bend forward, chin close to the chest.