What Is Reverse Prayer Yoga And What Are Its Benefits?

Written by Ramona Sinha

Did you know that relieving back pain is as simple as joining your hands behind your back? Intrigued? Here we talk about the Reverse Prayer Pose or Pashchima Namaskarasana and its many health benefits.

Would you like to know more? Keep reading!

What Is Reverse Prayer Pose?

The Reverse Prayer Pose or Penguin Pose or Pashchima Namaskarasana or Viparita Namaskarasana has many names. It is a variation of the Tadasana. This standing yoga asana literally means pashchima or ‘being behind’ and namaskara or ‘offering respect’, while the asana or ‘posture’ denotes the position.

The position and name loosely translate to the reverse prayer pose. The pose is an upper body posture that helps strengthen your arms, shoulders and targets your arms and abdomen (1).

Benefits Of Reverse Prayer Yoga:

The reverse prayer pose has many health benefits, some of which include:

  1. The shoulder movements help open up the chest and promote digestion. They help you breathe better and also help maintain your metabolism and energy levels.
  2. The shoulder movement helps strengthen your wrist tendons and is especially good for people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist pain. If you end up typing even 300 words in one day, you should consider practicing this simple yoga reverse prayer pose to keep your wrists free from damage. The wrists have many acupuncture points that will activate as a result of the extension.
  3. The shoulder movement helps massage and loosen any tight shoulder muscles and relaxes your shoulder blades and end up causing less shoulder and neck pain.
  4. Performing the pose will help you alleviate stress and calm an anxious mind. Peaceful mind implies peaceful body, so beat work or home stress by performing this simple asana. A peaceful mind directly reduces any disease as stress can worsen your mental state and make you feel gloomy.

Performing The Reverse Prayer Pose (Paschim Namaskarasana):

Now that you know what the pose is all about and how it helps your body, let’s take a look at the steps involved:

  1. Stand on a yoga mat or on the floor.
  2. Bring your legs together and keep your feet one inch apart.
  3. Relax your shoulders and let your hands hang by the sides.
  4. This is the Tadasana or mountain pose.
  5. Now, begin relaxing your shoulders while bending your knees a little.
  6. Begin raising your arms behind your back.
  7. Now proceed to join your palms and keep the fingers pointing downwards.
  8. Now, inhale and turn the finger tips inward towards the spine and rotate until your palms are joined as you turn your fingertips upwards.
  9. Make sure that your knees are slightly bent and your palms are pressed firmly against each other.
  10. Stay in the position for around 25-30 seconds.
  11. Close your eyes.
  12. Now begin turning your fingertips back downwards.
  13. Release your hands and bring them back to the sides.
  14. You have now returned to Tadasana.
  15. Take a one minute break and repeat the motion.

The other variation of the reverse prayer pose is a seated pose, and it features sitting down in Sukhasana and performing the same set of motions. The pose is known as the lotus and reverse prayer pose. It has its own set of health benefits, which include:

  • It helps lessen stagnation in the feet. When you fold your legs on top of each other, it helps open and stretch the acupuncture points in your feet.
  • Sitting down also helps promote better functioning of the stomach and other organs.

So, what are you waiting for? Whether it is beating stress, treating backache or simply preventing carpal tunnel syndrome, the reverse prayer pose helps all. Do you perform the posture in your daily yoga sessions? Do you know of any other health benefits we may have missed here? Tell us about your experiences! Comment below!

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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.