We love Vasisthasana, a.k.a Side Plank. It’s an awesome pose to strengthen some major core and lower back stabiliser muscles, such as the obliques and quadratus lumborum. In addition, it also works our arms, shoulders and legs. It’s also a balancing pose, which can help to improve your concentration skills! However, please avoid this pose if you have any shoulder, elbow, or wrist injuries.
Getting into the pose:
- From a High Plank (straight arms), press firmly on the right hand to roll to your right.
- Balancing on the outer edge of your right foot, stack your left foot over the right.
- Extend your left arm up towards the ceiling.
- Firm your legs, shoulders and triceps.
- Keep the hips lifted, and your body in a straight line. Engage your abdominal muscles to keep your body stable.
- You can either gaze towards your left fingers or forwards in the direction of your chest. Whatever is more comfortable for you. Just don’t let your head drop!
- Make sure you engage your shoulders, especially the bottom one. Don’t let your body sink into your shoulder joint, instead, press your hand firmly on the ground to lift your body up!
- Hold for 5 breathes.
- Lower your left hand back into plank. Then, repeat on the other side.
Check out these variations that can make your side plank harder, more accessible, or more fun.
- If the full pose is proving tricky, you can make it more accessible by bending the knee of your bottom leg and placing it on the floor under the hips.
2. As you build up strength, you can gradually make the pose harder by bending the knee of the top leg instead, and placing your foot on the floor in front of you.
3. You can also play with this variation by lifting the top leg parallel with your hips when your bottom knee is on the floor. Make sure you flex the foot on your extended leg. This one is great for strengthening the gluteus!
4. On the other hand, if you wish to make the pose more challenging, you can try to lift your top leg. If you have the flexibility, catch your big toe as you extend your leg up and try to balance! :-).