Crab Pose - Ardha Purvottanasana

Crab Pose - YanvaYoga


Crab Pose or Ardha Purvottanasana (ar-dhah PUR-voht-TAH-NAH-sah-nahis) also known as the ‘Reverse Tabletop Pose. Although it is not mentioned in the earliest classical Hatha yoga books, it is a relatively new modification of the ‘Purvottanasa’ for beginners who are looking for an easy backbend that can also strengthen the arms and legs.
When you begin your yoga journey, the most important thing is to take it slow and let your body relax so you can hold a particular pose for a long time. The Crab Pose is ideal and preparatory pose for not just more advanced ones but also brings deep relaxation to the body.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start by sitting on the floor in Dandasana where your legs extended out in front of you. The arms are alongside your torso.
Step 2
Bend the knees and place the soles of the feet in front of the hips at a distance (about a foot). Make sure feet ankles, knees, and thighs are hip distance apart.
Step 3
Place the palms flat on the floor behind the hips at shoulder distance. Make sure the Fingertips of both hands should be in the direction of your feet.
Step 4
On an inhale, press into the hands and the feet firmly. raise the hips above the floor and towards the sky as you straighten the arms. Make sure the weight of the body is on both your hands and feet.
Step 5
In this position your shoulders and knees will be in a straight line.
Step 6
Raise your hips as high as possible so that your chest rises up.
Step 7
Keep the knees at a 90-degree angle to the thighs, The feet should be under the knees and hands under the shoulders.
Step 8
Draw the shoulder blades into the back and try to avoid clenching the buttocks.
Step 9
Breathe and hold for 30 seconds.
Step 10
To release – slowly exhale the hips back down to the floor.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the arms, wrists, legs and back

Improves posture

Boosts energy and relieves fatigue

Relieves stress

Creates a sense of balance

Opens the chest

Stretches the spine, shoulders, abdomen and hamstrings


Pain in your wrist or carpal tunnel syndrome

Shoulder pain

Neck injury

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • Only lift your hips as high as your body currently allows. Never force the pose.
  • If you’re having trouble keeping your hips lifted, place a yoga block, bolster, or stack of blankets under your hips to support your pelvis. Allow your weight to rest on the block. Gradually lift your hips as you build strength.
  • Students with less strength and/or flexibility can also practice the pose with their hands on the edge of a chair that is secured against a wall. Hold onto the edges of the chair seat, then lift into the pose.
  • More experienced students can try keeping the buttocks relaxed in the pose, using only the thigh muscles to lift the hips.
  • More advanced students can extend the legs straight forward into Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana). Come into Reverse Table. Then, keep the hips lifted high as you completely straighten both legs in front of you. Press down through the toes and try to place the soles of the feet on the floor.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.