Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vasisthasana: Side Plank

For a little over a month my students have been working on the pose Vasisthasana, also known as side plank. It's a great pose for building strength and balance. 

Start in plank with your hands under your shoulders and your toes on the floor. Roll your weight over on to your right hand and the outside edge of your right foot. You want to make sure the sole of your right foot is rooting into the ground instead of the top of your foot. This will make balancing easier. 

The first step is to have your top foot stacked on your bottom foot. Your arm can reach up towards the sky or you can place your hand on your hip. 
The next level, or krama, is to slide your top foot up your leg to the lower variation of vrksasana, tree pose. 
Once your feel comfortable there bring your foot up to your inner thigh, still in the tree variation. 

The next steps bring you closer to the full expression of the pose. First, lift your top foot off your leg and place your hand on your knee. 
The second step is to hold onto your big toe with your top hand and extend your leg until it is straight.
Repeat on the left side!!

Practicing vasisthasana helps strengthen core muscles, wrists, arm, and shoulders. Students with major wrist, elbow, or shoulder injures shouldn't do vasisthasana. 

Take your time working on this pose! Challenge your body when it's ready but listen to your body for signs to take it easy. 

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