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Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana): Benefits, How to Do, and Variations

Just like a tabletop holds stability and balance for various objects, this pose brings steadiness and alignment to our bodies and minds.

The term "Bharmanasana" is derived from two Sanskrit words: "Bharman" meaning "table" and "Asana" meaning "pose." Hence, it is aptly named for its resemblance to a tabletop.

Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

In case you're wondering how to pronounce it correctly, it sounds like "Bhahr-mah-NAH-suh-nuh."


Before we dive into the how-tos, let's understand the anatomy of this pose. Table Top Pose primarily engages the wrists, arms, shoulders, and knees, forming a strong foundation for other poses. It also works wonders for the spine, promoting flexibility and alignment.


How to Perform Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

Alright, let's get down to business and learn how to master the Table Top Pose. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to follow:

  1. Start on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

  2. Spread your fingers wide, distributing the weight evenly across your hands.

  3. Gaze down, keeping your neck in line with your spine, and engage your core for stability.

  4. Ensure your knees are hip-width apart, and your shins and feet are relaxed.

  5. As you inhale, arch your back gently, lifting your tailbone and chest towards the ceiling, creating a slight sway.

  6. On an exhale, round your spine like a cat, tucking your chin and tailbone under.

  7. Repeat these movements for a few cycles, syncing your breath with each motion.

Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

When to Do It

The beauty of Table Top Pose lies in its versatility. You can incorporate it into your yoga practice as a warm-up, a transition between poses, or even as a stand-alone pose for a quick stretch during busy days.


Preparatory Poses

To prepare your body for the Table Top Pose, indulge in some gentle warm-up exercises. Child's Pose and Cat-Cow Pose are excellent choices, as they target the same muscle groups and gently introduce your spine to movement.


Follow-Up Poses

Following the Table Top Pose, you can seamlessly flow into various poses like Downward Facing Dog, Cobra Pose, or even Child's Pose. These asanas complement the Table Top Pose, deepening the stretch and enhancing your practice.


Chakra

Table Top Pose connects strongly with the Muladhara Chakra, also known as the Root Chakra. This chakra represents our sense of stability, security, and connection to the earth, making it a perfect match for this grounding pose.


Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra)

Mantra for this Pose

While in Table Top Pose, you can chant the mantra "LAM." This sound resonates with the Root Chakra, further intensifying your connection to the earth and promoting a sense of security.


Alignment Cues

Proper alignment is crucial in yoga, and Table Top Pose is no exception. Ensure the following cues are in mind while practicing:

  1. Keep your wrists directly under your shoulders and fingers spread wide to prevent strain.

  2. Align your knees directly under your hips, maintaining hip-width distance.

  3. Engage your core muscles to support your spine throughout the pose.

  4. Maintain a neutral neck by gazing down, avoiding any strain on your cervical spine.

  5. As you arch and round your back, move with awareness, feeling the stretch along your entire spine.

Duration of Hold

Table Top Pose can be a dynamic sequence or held statically for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your preference and practice level. Remember to synchronize your breath with the movements to enhance the experience.


Drishti

Drishti, or gazing point, helps to focus and concentrate the mind during the pose. In Table Top Pose, your natural drishti is downward, allowing your gaze to rest gently on the ground in front of you.


Physical & Spiritual Awareness

As you sink into the Table Top Pose, pay attention to the physical sensations that arise. Feel the earth beneath your palms and knees, and sense the gentle curve of your spine. Let your awareness expand beyond the physical, embracing the tranquility and stability this pose brings to your being.


Beginners' Tips

If you're new to yoga or this pose, take it slow and be patient with yourself. Start with gentle movements, gradually increasing the intensity as you become more comfortable. Remember, it's not a competition; it's a journey of self-discovery.


Who Should Not Do It

As with any yoga pose, certain precautions must be taken. Avoid Table Top Pose if you have wrist or knee injuries. Pregnant women should modify the pose to avoid unnecessary pressure on the abdomen. Always listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.


Who Should Do It

Table Top Pose is a beginner-friendly pose suitable for almost everyone. It provides an excellent foundation for further exploration into the world of yoga. If you're looking to enhance your flexibility, build strength, or simply de-stress, this pose is perfect for you.


Benefits of Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

The Table Top Pose offers a plethora of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. Some of these include:

  1. Core Strength: It engages the core muscles, improving stability and posture.

  2. Spinal Flexibility: The gentle arching and rounding motions promote a healthy, flexible spine.

  3. Wrist and Shoulder Mobility: This pose strengthens and stretches the wrists and shoulders, preventing stiffness.

  4. Mind-Body Connection: The synchronization of breath and movement fosters mindfulness and presence.

  5. Stress Relief: Practicing Table Top Pose brings a sense of calm, releasing tension and stress.

  6. Digestive Health: The gentle compression and release in the abdomen aid digestion.

  7. Energy Flow: It opens up energy channels, invigorating the body and mind.

Variations of Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)


Dandyamana Brahmanasana (Balancing Table Pose)

Balancing Table Pose, or Dandyamana Brahmanasana, is a beautiful blend of stability and grace. Just like a balanced table, this pose aligns your body while engaging various muscle groups. It strengthens the core, wrists, and shoulders while stretching the spine and quadriceps. The harmony of strength and flexibility is what makes this pose truly special.

Dandyamana Brahmanasana (Balancing Table Pose)

How to Perform Dandyamana Brahmanasana (Balancing Table Pose)

  1. Start on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

  2. Spread your fingers wide, finding a firm grip on the ground.

  3. Engage your core and maintain a flat back like a tabletop, ensuring your spine is in line with your neck.

  4. Now, lift your right arm and extend it forward, parallel to the ground, while simultaneously extending your left leg straight back.

  5. Find your balance, keeping your body in one straight line from fingertips to toes.

  6. Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the strength and stability in your core and the stretch in your quadriceps.

  7. Gently release back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Parivrtta Bharmanasana (Revolved Table Pose)

Parivrtta Bharmanasana, or Revolved Table Pose, adds a twist to the classic Table Pose, infusing it with an energizing and cleansing effect. As you rotate your torso, you activate your obliques, promoting spinal flexibility and detoxifying the body. The pose symbolizes embracing change and letting go of what no longer serves you, just like the cleansing breaths it invites.

Parivrtta Bharmanasana (Revolved Table Pose)

How to Perform Parivrtta Bharmanasana (Revolved Table Pose)

  1. Begin in the traditional Table Pose, with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

  2. As you inhale, reach your right arm up toward the ceiling, opening your chest and twisting your torso to the right side.

  3. Exhale deeply as you thread your right arm under your left arm, bringing your right shoulder and temple to the ground.

  4. Allow your left hand to stay rooted to the ground, helping you maintain stability.

  5. Feel the gentle twist in your spine and the stretch in your upper back.

  6. Breathe mindfully in this twist for a few breaths, letting go of tension with every exhale.

  7. Slowly release the twist and return to the Table Pose position.

  8. Repeat on the other side, inhaling to lengthen and exhaling to deepen the twist.


Ardha Purvottanasana (Reverse Tabletop Pose)

This empowering pose is all about lifting yourself, both physically and mentally. Just like a reverse tabletop, it opens your heart and chest while strengthening your arms, wrists, and legs. It's a perfect blend of grounding and expanding, inviting you to embrace your inner power and radiate confidence.

Ardha Purvottanasana (Reverse Tabletop Pose)

How to Perform Ardha Purvottanasana (Reverse Tabletop Pose)

  1. Sit on your mat with your legs extended forward and your hands placed a few inches behind your hips, fingers pointing toward your feet.

  2. Keep your feet hip-width apart and ensure your fingers are pointing toward your toes.

  3. As you inhale, press firmly into your hands and feet, lifting your hips and chest off the mat.

  4. Let your head drop back gently, allowing your heart to shine towards the sky.

  5. Engage your core and quadriceps to maintain stability and strength.

  6. Feel the stretch in your shoulders, chest, and front thighs.

  7. Hold the pose for a few breaths, basking in the openness and strength it brings.

  8. As you exhale, slowly lower your hips back down to the mat with grace.


Modifications for Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

If you have wrist issues, you can perform Table Top Pose on your forearms instead of your hands. Placing a folded towel or blanket under your knees can offer additional support and cushioning.


Common Mistakes

Even the simplest poses have some common mistakes. Avoid these pitfalls to get the most out of your Table Top Pose:

  1. Collapsing Wrists: Keep your wrists strong and firm to prevent strain and potential injuries.

  2. Sinking Shoulders: Engage your shoulder blades to maintain a stable upper body.

  3. Overarching or Rounding: Find a balance between the two positions to avoid excess pressure on your spine.

  4. Misalignment: Ensure your knees and wrists are directly under your shoulders and hips, respectively.

Safety and Precautions

To practice yoga safely, always listen to your body. Never force yourself into a pose, and don't forget to warm up before attempting any asana. If you have any health concerns or injuries, seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional.


Additional Preparation Tips

Direction to Face: The direction you face during Table Top Pose is not particularly significant. However, aligning yourself with the East can be beneficial, as it represents new beginnings and fresh starts, amplifying the positive energy of the pose.

What to Wear: Comfort is vital during any yoga practice. Choose breathable, flexible clothing that allows you to move freely. Avoid clothes that are too tight or restrict your movements.

Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance:

Select a quiet, clutter-free space where you can practice with ease. Lighting a calming essential oil like lavender or sandalwood can enhance the overall experience, promoting relaxation and focus.

Music for This Pose: Choosing the right music is subjective and varies from person to person. Soft instrumental tracks, nature sounds, or even soothing chants can be great accompaniments to your Table Top Pose practice. Allow the music to uplift and inspire you.


The Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana) is a humble yet powerful yoga asana that unlocks a world of physical and spiritual benefits. As you embody the strength and steadiness of a tabletop, you'll discover the harmony between body, mind, and soul. So, roll out your yoga mat, take a deep breath, and immerse yourself in the liberating embrace of the Table Top Pose.


Happy yoga-ing, everyone! Namaste! Read More: Decoding Angel Numbers: Messages from the Spiritual Universe If you have found this information valuable, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletters. Stay updated and never miss out on anything while you continue your journey toward optimal health and holistic living.

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About the Author

Namaste! My name is Pooja Chauhan

I am a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher and a practitioner. Diving deep into the realm of my own heritage to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing my culture with the world.

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