YAY for challenging poses that look simple! Side Plank Pose (Vashishthasana) is one asana that took me quite a while to build the strength to attain. But once I got there I simply could not get enough of it! So much core work I can’t resist! Once you SEE how beneficial it is for your body, you wouldn’t be able to either.
Benefits of Side Plank Pose
This one-arm balance strengthens your wrists and arms. Vashishthasana tones the lumbar and coccyx areas of your spine. It fires up the abdominal muscles, especially the external obliques. And, Side Plank is awesome at developing concentration and non-attachment (which we all need).
Side Plank Pose Step-by-Step
- Start with Plank. If you need a refresher, click here for my previous article on Four Limbed Staff Pose.
- Place your left palm towards the center of your mat.
- Spin your heels to the left side, stacking your feet, keeping them flexed. *Option to scissor your feet for more support.
- Stack your shoulders over your left wrist.
- Lift your right arm up towards the sky with energy spreading throughout your fingertips.
- Keep your breath steady for five breaths. On the fifth exhale, come back to plank and work on the other side.
Naturally, the body wants to droop down but this pose is about how to maintain the neutral alignment of the spine and legs while working against gravity. With that said, focus on engaging your core and lifting your hips up-- envisioning you’re creating a rainbow with your side body. This will take less strain on your arms and wrists while holding this pose.
Also, it’s very important not to lock your elbows. You should maintain its flexibility to prevent from injury.
For the advanced yogis out there, you could try different variations for an added challenge. For instance, you could do Tree pose with the top leg bent and your foot on the inside of the bottom leg-- focusing on opening your hips. Or, you could try using your peace fingers to grab the outside of your big toe and extend the leg away from the body.
You think you got it? Awesome! I know you can do it! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll be delighted to help!
Until next week, have a blast!