Whether you’re a beginner or have been practicing poses for a while, learning posture basics, like how to do table pose, will benefit your practice. My goal as a yoga teacher is to prevent injury, and one of the best ways to do that is to understand foundational poses.
Foundational poses do exactly what they advertise: they provide the building blocks for other postures. For this reason, they deserve a few extra teaching moments.
Mountain Pose is the king of all foundational poses and I covered the four functions of your feet in How to Do Mountain Pose. By learning the elements of mountain pose, you carry those into all the other postures especially standing and standing balancing asanas.
The next foundational pose I want to cover is Table Pose, a seemingly innocuous posture that most participants take for granted.
👉 Before I go further, if you want to review my five key elements about postures, click here.
Prone, arm strengthener
Box, table top, square, hands and knees, and Bharmanasana in Sansrkit.
I’ve provided some benefits, contraindications, variations, chakra connections, and sequencing suggestions. Other yoga teachers and sites may list additional or varying information.
👉 Remember Key Point #1, there is no one singular way.
STEPS TO DO TABLE POSTURE
- Come to hands and knees.
- Keep knees aligned with hips and wrists aligned with shoulders.
- Lift weight out of wrists with a tiny rounding of upper back.
BENEFITS OF TABLE POSTURE
Benefits = By practicing this posture, the conditions listed can be improved.
- Strengthens wrists, arms, and shoulders
- Engages core muscles
- Prepares for arm balances and certain inversions
- Good for third, fourth, and fifth chakra balancing
CONTraindications of table posture
Contraindications = A condition that the posture could make worse.
- Wrist, elbow, or shoulder issues
- Low back problems such as herniated disks
variations or adaptations
By altering the form of a yoga posture, you can meet the requirements and strength of each person. Yoga encourages you to practice within your capacity whether that means you need to increase or reduce the intensity.
Asana variations are not just for people with specific physical problems. They can help all yoga practitioners remain open to discovery. –TKV Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga.
- Cow / cat flow
- Knee to elbow
- Balancing table
- Place folded blanket under knees
- Rest on knuckles of fists instead of palms flat
- Drop to elbows
Table posture has solar plexus, heart, and throat chakra connections. The solar plexus with the engaging of your core muscles. Your heart chakra is connected to your arms and shoulders, and your throat chakra with your neck.
Adding the cow/cat flow, amps up the energy movement between these three chakras.
Postures you could do BEFORE table:
Postures you could do AFTER table:
- Thread the needle
FINAL THOUGHTS ON TABLE POSTURE
When you learn to engage all the elements in table you’ll not only create a posture that is balanced and building strength, but you’re learning how to progress to more challenging postures like plank, updog, side plank, or crow.
My mentor described table as “stand on your hands” a cue to engage your hands and arms the same way you would your feet and thighs in mountain.