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Side Plank Yoga Pose – Vasisthasana

Side Plank or Vasisthasana

Vasisthasana

[vah-sish-TAHS-anna]

Vasistha means most excellent sage and is the name of one of the most important Vedic seers. He authored Vedic hymns for the Rig Veda, was said to be able to grant wishes. Before he became a forest ascetic, Vasistha was said to be very wealthy.

 

Benefits of Side Plank

  • Creates stability in the spine, core, and pelvis.
  • Strengthens the muscles in the shoulder girdle, sides of the body, lower back, gluteals, and abdomen.
  • Increases the strength of postural muscles and teaches proper muscle recruitment patterns.

Contraindications

  • People with glaucoma, high blood pressure or recent abdominal surgery should avoid this posture.
  • People with sinus problems should practice with modifications or approach with caution as this pose can cause increased pressure in the head.

Step-by-Step

  • Start on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders. Your thighs are in line with your torso and your knees rest on the floor.
  • Inhale and curl your toes under.
  • Exhale and squeeze your legs straight, bringing your body into one long line.
  • Leave the sole of your right foot flat as you turn your body sideways by rolling the right hip up so the pelvis is perpendicular to the floor.
  • Position your right leg so that it lies on top of your left leg and bring your right hand to your right hip.
  • The ball of your left foot is on the mat with your left ankle tucked behind your right.
  • Your left arm should be at an angle with the palm slightly in front of the shoulder.
  • Distribute the weight evenly on your left palm and your right foot.
  • Align your spine so that your body is in one long line from the crown of your head to your feet.
  • Avoid sagging into your bottom hip.
  • Feel your shoulder-blades slide down into your back pockets.
  • Feel all your Bandhas and core muscles engage, helping to keep your body in one long line and support the weight of the pelvis.
  • Engage your adductor muscles to support your core and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Return to a table top position on your next exhale.

Preparatory Poses

Counter Poses

a variation on child's pose