Reverse Prayer Pose or Paschim Namaskarasana looks intimidating, with your hands behind your back and demanding a level of flexibility that is not yet accessible to many of us. But don’t be discouraged! There are many ways to access this pose, or halfway to this pose, and still get the benefits of a shoulder, arm, and chest stretch!


Increase flexibility and release tension in your arms, shoulders, and chest. Gentle heart-opening pose that’s a great starting pose for deeper heart openers and back-bends.

How to:

  1. Begin in tadasana (mountain pose) with a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Relax your shoulders and bring your hands behind your back. Start small by taking the palms of your hands together with your fingers pointing downwards. *Tip: You can always modify this pose by using a towel between your hands.
  3. Bring yourself back to tadasana and continue to warm yourself up for the full pose by rolling your shoulders forwards and back and stretch your arms out in front of you. Another option is to take your arms again behind you and grab hold of opposite elbows with your hands to get that stretch in your shoulders.
  4. Starting again from tadasana, take your hands behind you and bring the palms of your hands together with fingers pointing down. As you breathe, slowly start to rotate your hands inwards towards your spine until your fingers are pointing upwards in the full expression of the pose.

Modify it:

Use a towel between your hands to begin, grabbing one end in each hand with your arms behind your back. As you get more comfortable, bring your hands closer together. Listen to your body and know that it’s always ok to stop when a pose feels uncomfortable for your body!