Side Plank Pose  -Vasisthasana

Step by step

  • Start in Plank Pose, pressing firmly through your hands with your shoulders aligned over your wrists.
  • Keeping your core muscles and legs strong, roll both your heels to the right so that the outer edge of the foot is touching the floor.
  • Stack your left foot on top of the right.
  • Engage the legs, drawing them in together and pushing out through the feet.
  • Inhale as you press down firmly through the right hand and raise your left hand, look up to your hand if it's comfortable for your neck and you have the balance.
  • Keep your lower belly in and up, and your tailbone pointing down to the heels.
  • Build up to stay in the pose for 5 breaths.
  • To come out, exhale as you lower your left hand and pivot your feet back to Plank position.

Beginners tips

  • You can keep the lower knee on the floor to support you as you build up strength in the arms and core.
  • Or instead of stacking the feet bring them apart slightly so that the outer edge of the right foot and the inner edge of the left foot are both on the floor.
  • Pressing firmly through the hand will help you get lighter in the upper body.
  • Squeeze the legs together to keep them strong and engaged.

Benefits

  • This is a great pose for strengthening and toning the arms, core and legs.
  • It also tests your balance helping to improve focus and concentration 

Watch out for

  • The wrists - this is a strong pose for the wrists so check that your shoulders are aligned over your wrists and that you are pressing firmly through the base of your fingers not just the heel of your hand.
  • Hypermobility - if you are extra flexible in the elbow joints you may need to keep your arm very slightly bent to avoid over-extending.

Variations

  • Bring the foot of your upper leg onto the inner thigh (into Tree pose) keep the hips lifted high and push through the lower leg to keep it strong.
  • To come into the full variation of the pose exhale and bend your upper leg bringing the thigh towards the chest. Hook your big toe with your fingers, inhale and straighten your leg to the sky.