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 engaged, roll both your heels to the right.
  • Stack your left foot on top of the right.
  • Draw your legs together and push out through the feet.
  • Press down through the right hand and raise your left hand. Keep your lower belly engaged and your tailbone long.
  • Look up to your hand, or ahead of you. 
  • 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.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Read Jennilee Toner's 10 steps to a happier side plank for more tips.

Beginners tips

  • 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. Or bend the top leg and put the foot flat on the floor in front of you - keeping the lower leg straight as in full Side Plank.
  • Pressing firmly through the hand will help you get lighter in the upper body. This is the press-rebound effect.
  • 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

  • Keep your shoulders aligned over your wrists and press the base of your fingers down, to protect your wrists.
  • 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. Hook your big toe with your fingers, inhale and straighten your leg to the sky.