Reverse Prayer Pose - Paschima Namaskarasana

Reverse Prayer Pose -YanvaYoga


Reverse Prayer (Reverse Anjali Mudra or Paschima Namaskarasana) is a great way to open your shoulders. You will find Reverse Prayer as an arm variation added to many Standing Yoga Postures.

Reverse Prayer internally rotates your upper arms. That isn’t a common movement for your upper arms, which is one of the reasons it can be so beneficial. It makes sure you go through your full range of motion. It’s also a wonderful stretch for your forearms.

Reverse Prayer Pose Basics

  • Also Known As: Reverse Anjali Mudra, Paschima Namaskarasana, or Viparita Namaskarasana
  • Targets: Muscles throughout your shoulder and forearms

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Sit in any comfortable posture like Sukhasana. This pose can also be done in Tadasana or the standing pose.
Step 2
Relax the shoulders and let the hands hang loosely by the sides.
Step 3
Bring your hands behind your back, fingertips pointing toward the ground, and elbows bent. Take a deep breath in.
Step 4
As you exhale, rotate your hands so your fingers point toward the ceiling, and then try to bring your opposite fingertips to touch.
Step 5
To release the posture, separate the palms and bring down the hands to the side of the waist.
Step 6
You may rest a few minutes with palms placed on the thighs in the sitting position. If you feel any stiffness in the shoulders, you can gently rotate the shoulders in a circular motion forwards as well as backwards a few times. This can help to release any tension in the shoulder muscles.

Benefits and Contraindications


Promotes respect for the self and others

Relieves stress and anxiety

Good for opening up the shoulder joints

Stretches the shoulder muscles and the muscles of the forearm up to the wrist

Opens the chest and improves breathing


Shoulder, neck or arm injury

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

When you inhale, let yourself sink into and feel the stretch, assessing if you should go deeper.

If your body wants a deeper stretch, as you exhale, continue moving your hands closer together. This will move them up along the line of your spine.

If your palms can press fully against each other, concentrate on the thumb side of your hands and keeping them gently pressing.


  • Cow Face Pose
  • Standing Reverse Prayer Pose

Top Preparatory Poses

  • Backward Shoulders Rotations in Mountain or Easy Pose
  • Forward Shoulders Rotations in Mountain or Easy Pose
  • Shoulder Blades Warm Up

Top Follow Up Poses

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.