An Easy Guide to Plank Pose, or Kumbhakasana

Plank Pose, or Kumbhakasana, is an arm balance which can be practiced to build strength, stamina and stability. This yoga pose also activates and tones the muscles by the spine, so it is useful for improving posture.


Plank Pose is a great pose in which to build upper body and abdominal strength. 

As a key component of a Sun Salutation it's also a good place to recalibrate physically and emotionally before moving on to the next pose.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Plank Pose, or Kumbhakasana, in easy steps

Step 1:

Begin in Downward Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana).

Step 2:

On an inhalation, shift forward until your body is at 45 degree angle to the floor, your arms are at right angles to your mat and your shoulders are in line with the wrists.

Step 3:

Strongly push through the palms. Rotate your elbows inwards.

Step 4:

Firm the shoulder blades and draw them down the back.

Step 5:

Lift the front thighs and strongly push back through the heels.

Step 6:

Lengthen the tailbone, creating a long line with the entire body.

Step 7:

Engage your abdominal muscles by gently pulling your navel towards your spine.

Step 8:

Check that the shoulders are moving away from the ears and lengthen the neck. Gaze down at the floor, keeping any tension out of your collarbone, eyes and throat.

Stay for 10 to 15 breaths.


Yoga pose category:  Weight on hands

Level: 1

Although this is a beginners’ yoga pose, some yogis might find it difficult to hold this pose for more than a couple of breaths. If you’re struggling with this, try practicing this pose with the knees touching the ground, in a Half Plank Pose. You will still experience the benefits of lengthening the back, as long as you make sure to keep the head and spine in a straight line.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Kumbhak - breath retention

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Kumbhakasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:

Upper body strength

Flabby tummy

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Kumbhakasana if you have any of the following health conditions:


Wrist injury

Sign up to our newsletter to receive 10% off your first order, events & exclusive subscriber only offers here

Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.