Vasisthasana (VAH-shees-THAH-suh-nuh) is a powerful arm balance that also increases our core strength. The word vasistha in Sanskrit translates to "most excellent" or the "best". There are many excellent poses out there, but whomever named this one was really fond of it. It is certainly makes my list of favorite asanas (postures).
It is simple in form, but simple does not mean easy!
How to do a side Plank:
1. Start on all fours in a table top position with your hands fully grounded and positioned underneath your shoulders.
2. Step back into a plank position (Top of a push up)
3. Roll to the right and press firmly into your right hand and outer edge of the right foot. Keep your hips lifted as you raise your left arm towards the sky.
4. Firm up your belly and bottom to keep a straight line from your feet all the way out through the top of the head.
5. Switch sides.
6. Rest in a child's pose when you have completed or keep going with your yoga flow.
There are many variations to make this pose more accessible or more challenging.
Note: This pose is not for students with acute wrist or shoulder injuries.
It is important to keep the bottom hand fully connected and press down through the fingers and front of the palm. This will keep you from sinking too much weight into the wrists.
The bottom shoulder will tend to sink forward. Two helpful cues to avoid this. 1. Press down even more, this will help you lift up with that root to rise feeling. 2. Turn the eye of the bottom elbow forward. This externally rotates your arm and helps to draw the shoulder blade into a retracted and depressed position (shoulder blade in and down the back).
The butt tends to drop back which pushes the chest and head forward. Squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) and draw the upper back towards the wall behind you. Firm you belly.
Pull the head back in line with your shoulders and reach the top arm as high as you can (like a good morning stretch).
Don't forget to breathe while you are engaging all of these incredible muscles. There is a receptivity within our strength!
Enjoy our monthly challenge and stay tuned for next month!
If you are interested in learning more about arm balances check out the weekend training below!
About Chris Loebsack
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
We are continuously interested on how our reactions and responses to our personal journeys, albeit travel, adventure, new job, etc. mirror and reflect our social, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. We try every day to apply what we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat to our personal lives. Thank you for tuning in as we share some of those aspects with you.