Side Crow Pose
March 28, 2015
Staff Pose
March 28, 2015

Side Plank Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Vasisthasana
(vah-sish-TAHS-anna)
vasistha = most excellent, best, richest

BENEFITS

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, and legs
  • Increases wrist flexibility
  • Tones and strengthens the core
  • Improves balance, focus, and concentration
  • Stretches and strengthens the side body
  • Opens the hips and hamstrings

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • High blood pressure

HOW TO

  1. Start in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog). Lower your hips and come forward into Plank pose, aligning your shoulders over your hands and wrists.
  2. Press down through your right hand and forearm. Roll onto the outer edge of your right foot, stacking the left foot on top of the right foot.
  3. Walk your right hand forward slightly in front of your shoulder. Bring your left hand to your hip, pressing through your supporting hand and the outer edge of your foot.
  4. Extend the left arm up toward the sky, allowing your gaze to follow.
  5. Hold for 3-5 breaths. To release the posture, lower your lifted arm to the ground and return to Plank pose. Push your hips back to Downward-Facing Dog; then repeat on the other side.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Bend the bottom knee and rest the shin on the mat.
  • Bring the top foot in front of the bottom foot, so the soles are parallel with the edge of your mat. Rest the inner arch on the mat to help you balance.
  • If balance is still challenging, bring your top foot in front of the body, bend the knee to a 90-degree angle, and place the foot flat on the floor.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Flex both of your feet, pressing into the outer edge of your bottom foot.
  • Keep lifting the hips up, away from the ground.
  • Ground down through the bottom hand while reaching up with the top hand. Expand your chest.

VARIATIONS

  • Lift your top leg away from your bottom leg and extend toward the sky. Flex your foot.
  • Bring the top leg into Vrkasana (Tree pose), resting the foot on the inner thigh of the bottom leg.
  • Clasp the big toe with your thumb and peace fingers; then extend the top leg toward the sky.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Hips dropping
  • Collapsing into the supporting wrist
  • Bottom shoulder crunching toward the ear