Reverse Prayer Pose

Paschim Namaskarasana or Reverse Prayer Pose is an intermediate position for the hands in a standing or sitting Yoga posture. This is considered a warm-up yoga pose to prepare the body for more intense yoga poses.

Reverse Prayer Pose is a great pose with tight wrists and forearms into a position that you don’t take very often in your everyday life.

Paschim Namaskarasana Basics

Sanskrit PronunciationPaschim Namaskarasana
MeaningPaschim = west. In this context, it means backside;
namaskar = greeting;
asana = pose
Pose TypeStanding and sitting
Pose LevelIntermediate pose
Style of yogaAshtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Other NamesViparita Namaskarasana, Reverse Namaste Pose, Penguin pose,
Westward prayer pose or inverted prayer pose.
StretchesChest, Arm, and Shoulder
Strengthening upper-body
Duration30 second to 3 minutes


In Sanskrit, ‘Paschima’ means west or in this context the back; ‘Namaskara’ means Greetings or salutation and ‘Asana’ means a Pose. Although the gentle version of the Tadasana. In the Paschim Namaskar posture, the salutation is done with folded hands towards the back that creates a fantastic stretch for the shoulders.

Paschim Namaskarasana is one of the most important asanas in yoga with several benefits to your body as well as health. Aside from that, it realigns the shoulder blades or wrists, a common problem area for anybody who surfs frequently.

This asana also known as with several names such as Standing Reverse Prayer Pose, Tadasana Paschima Namaskarasana, Paschima Namaskarasana, Reverse Namaste Pose, Reverse Prayer Pose, Viparita Namaskar. Viparita means “Behind, opposite or reverse” (in a simple word the meaning of Viparita is – opposite) and Namaskar means “giving respect or greeting”. so the combination of all the words, it’s pronounced as a Reverse Prayer Pose.

let’s look at the steps of how to do Reverse prayer pose ( Paschima Namaskarasana) and the benefits of the Reverse prayer pose, along with the precautions involved.

Practice Guide for Reverse Prayer Pose

The guide begins with an introduction to the pose, highlighting its significance in yoga practice and its potential benefits for the body and mind.

Steps To Do Paschim Namaskarasana

Among yoga lovers, in Surya Namaskar, where both the hands are folded forward for Namaskar or salutation, whereas in the Paschim Namaskar asana, the salutation is done with folded hands towards the back.

Variation 1

  • To come in Reverse prayer pose first you need to stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
  • Relax the shoulders, bring your legs together and keep your feet one inch apart as well as hands hang both sides.
  • Now bend your knees a little and allow your palms together into prayer position (Namaste) in front of your chest. hold the position to flex your wrists.
  • After that flexibility, bring your arms behind your back and then join your palms with your finger pointing downwards. (Do not excess push the chest and ribs)
  • As you inhale, turn the fingertips inwards towards the spine.
  • Ensure that palms are firmly attached to one another and your knees are slightly bent.
  • Now, close your eyes and take a couple of breaths.
  • Hold the final position for as long as you feel needed to feel stretch.
  • To come out of this position, with exhalation, slowly turn the fingertips downward.

If you cannot perform Namaskar Mudra, unable to turn your fingertips up and keep them together. Although the pose is difficult, you can try a second variation.

Variation 2

Stand in Tadasana with your elbows bent to a 90-degree angle and your palms facing forward. Now, Bring your right forearm behind your back so the forearm rests on your lower back, then bring your left arm in as well, grab your left forearm with your right hand. after that spin, your left hand around to grab your right forearm.

Benefits of Reverse Prayer Pose

  • Reverse Prayer Pose stretches the shoulder, upper back, joints, and pectoral muscles.
  • If your shoulders start hurting after a light stretch or if you are facing trouble in their movement, then this asana can prove to be very beneficial for you.
  • This asana also releases tension from your shoulders, forearms, wrists, and collarbones area.
  • This yoga asana is very beneficial for your wrists. Actually, doing too much typing or writing work causes pain in the wrist joint. In such a situation, by doing Paschim Namaskar asana, the wrist joints are opened and it gives a lot of relaxation.
  • Paschim Namaskar Asana is very beneficial for neck and back pain. By doing this yoga asana, the tension of the muscles is reduced and gives relief in pain.
  • The positioning of the back hands in Paschim Namaskar helps in making your spine, shoulder, and arms flexible.
  • People suffering from negative emotions like anger, sadness, anxiety should do ‘Paschim Namaskar Asana’ daily. Research suggests that regular practice of Reverse Prayer Pose down negative emotions.
  • Doing this asana helps in promoting digestion and also helps in maintaining your metabolism and energy levels.


  • It is not necessary that you will be successful in doing this the first time. Therefore, do not forcibly bend the wrist too much, it can also cause pain in your wrist.
  • People who suffer from low blood pressure, arm or shoulder injury should avoid doing this pose.
  • When you do Paschim Namaskar for the first time, stay in that position for 5 to 10 seconds. Gradually, when you become expert in doing this asana, then increase the time also.


Namaskar is said to be useful for men, women, children, young and old. Pressing or holding the palms together while doing Namaskar activates the heart chakra and ajna chakra, whether it is a forward prayer pose or a reverse prayer pose.


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