Yes, I realize it’s been a week. (Okay, no, I didn’t realize that, but.. life.) But I am ready to continue with the core fun and talk about strengthening the lats. Remembering the anatomy, one movement where the lats contract is when the shoulders extend behind the torso, and one pose that does this nicely is upward facing table.
I often see upward facing table suggested as a less intense modification of purvottanasana, but I think the bent knee version is valuable in its own right. Because the bent knees shift the center of the pose farther up the back, it effectively starts to strengthen the lats without worrying too much about whether the thighs, glutes, and lower back muscles are equally capable of lifting weight. Don’t get me wrong: There’s merit to strengthening those muscles too, but sometimes it’s most therapeutic to focus on one thing.
Another benefit to upward table is that since it opens the heart and stretches the abdominal wall, it can be a suitable counterpose after strengthening the front of the core.
A couple of vinyasa variations: this one, in which the fullest expression of the pose is held only for a breath or two at a time, and this one that starts to incorporate some lower back strengthening via single leg extensions.