Side plank pose

Vasisthasana

Categories:
Balance, Strength, Side bend, Shoulder opener

The side plank pose builds balance and strength in the legs, arms, shoulders, wrists and abdomen.

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Step by step explanation

The side plank pose can be done by

  1. Begin on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Spread the fingers wide apart, grounding through the palms of your hands as you extend your hips up and back to come towards a downward-facing dog pose.
  3. From here, bring your feet together and your right hand in the middle, as you rotate your whole body to the right side.
  4. Balance on your right hand and the outside of your right foot, while you lift your hips up and raise your left arm straight up into the air. If stacking your feet on top of each other feels too much you can place your left foot in front of your right.
  5. You want both arms to keep extending away from your heart and keep your legs really active. Keep reaching your hips up high.
  6. Keep a solid posture and, if it feels comfortable for your neck, turn your head to look up towards your left fingertips.
  7. If you can, stay here for five deep breaths.
  8. Then, slowly lower your left arm back down and rotate the body back towards the downward-facing dog pose. From here, move towards the pose on the opposite side.
  9. Again, bring your feet together and this time your left hand in the middle, as you rotate your whole body to the left side.
  10. Balance on your left hand and the outside of your left foot, while you lift your hips up and raise your right arm straight up into the air. Like on your right side, if stacking your feet on top of each other feels too much, you can place your right foot in front of your left.
  11. Again, you want both arms to keep extending away from your heart and keep your legs really active. Don’t forget to keep reaching your hips up high.
  12. Keep a solid posture and, if it feels comfortable for your neck, turn your head to look up towards your right fingertips.
  13. If you can, stay here for five deep breaths.
  14. Then, slowly lower your right arm back down and rotate the body back towards the downward-facing dog pose. From here, drop the knees down to the ground and come back to your hands and knees.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • Do not perform this pose if you have an injury in either the arm, wrist or shoulder.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • This pose requires a lot of strength and stability. You can first begin with getting comfortable holding the plank position for a full minute, before trying to perform this side plank pose.
  • If stacking the feet on top each other is too much, you can bring the feet in front of each other.

Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses