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Side Plank Pose: Foundation Yoga Pose Series

VASISTHASANA

Level 1: Beginner

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stretches the wrists
  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • Engages and strengthens the abdominal core and gluteal muscles
  • Improves balance
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Promotes stability and lengthening of the spine

Contraindications/Cautions (consult your physician):

  • Inflammation/injuries of the wrists/arms/shoulders/ankles
  • High blood pressure
  • Glaucoma
  • Recent abdominal surgery/trauma
  • Pregnancy- avoid
  • Fine during menstruation if no discomfort caused

 

Knees can be bent in DWFD as required

 

  1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog
  2. Move the right hand towards the centre of the mat (so that it will be directly under the right shoulder) and at this stage use the left hand for support still on the mat but out towards the left side.
  3. Keeping the feet together, turn them to face the left so that the outer edge of the right foot is on the mat, with the left foot stacked on top of the right.
  4. Get your balance and stabilise here, and then when you are ready inhale the left hand up off the floor and extend it upwards, opening the chest towards the left and engaging the abdomen (drawing the abdomen towards the spine).
  5. Push down through your contact points on the mat- hand and edge of right foot), and stabilise, breathe.
  6. Keeping the spine and pelvis in a neutral position (not tilting forwards or backwards), begin to lift the hips upwards by engaging the core and lifting the right side body away from the floor.
  7. Take several breaths here, and then when you are ready exhale the left hand back down to the floor, carefully rotate the hips and feet back into Downward Facing dog and rest (you can also take Extended Child’s Pose if needed).
  8. Repeat 1-7 on the other side with the left hand down and turn to the right.

 

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NOTES:

  • You can modify the posture by balancing on the forearm of the supporting arm, and /or by stabilising by bending the top leg and placing the sole of the foot on the floor (see below)
  • Some people find it supportive to have the feet against a wall
  • Don’t lock the elbow, keep a small micro-bend in it to protect it
  • If you have no issues with the neck, you can turn it up to look towards the hand, otherwise keep the neck neutral as shown
  • Remember to keep breathing and try to release any unnecessary tension
  • To increase the intensity of the posture, raise the top leg up and hold the foot with the top hand, eventually working up towards the foot being perpendicular
Vasisthasana modified
Modify the pose by using the forearm and/or top leg to support

IMG_3035If you found this useful, please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues!

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