Asana Spotlight: Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana

by | Beginners, Blog, Community Activities, Yoga poses

Side Plank Pose, or Vasisthasana in Sanskrit, is a challenging yet rewarding yoga posture that addresses three main aspects of the body: balance, muscular strength, and stretching. Side Plank strengthens the core, arms, wrists, and shoulders while improving balance, concentration, and overall body awareness.

Mythological History:

According to Hindu mythology, Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose), is associated with Vasistha. Vasistha was one of the Seven Great Sages, who possessed immense wisdom and spiritual knowledge. Legend has it that Vasistha was a master of yoga and meditation and was said to have achieved extraordinary strength, balance, and inner peace. Through his practice he conquered all the negative qualities like desire, anger, miserliness, jealousy, and pride. Side Plank Pose is believed to have been named after Vasistha due to this exemplary strength and stability, symbolizing the embodiment of the pose’s qualities of strength, balance, and spiritual connection. Practicing Side Plank Pose can be seen as a tribute to the wisdom and discipline of Vasistha, inviting practitioners to channel his legendary qualities as they explore their own physical and spiritual potential on the yoga mat.

Dancer - Shiva

Aligning Your Side Plank…

Dancer pose Tips

Fun Fact…

Vasisthasana, the sanskrit word for Side Plank Pose, translates to “the best, most excellent, or richest pose”

1. Stack your shoulders and reach through your fingertips.

2. Pull your top hip back for proper alignment, then push upwards. Draw your navel in towards your spine for core engagement and spinal support.

3. Keep strong & active legs, allowing for slight internal rotation in your thighs.

4. Press out through your heels.

5. Bottom wrist should stack directly under your shoulder to prevent strain or injury.

6. Lenghten from heels through the top of your head.

7. Gaze up towards your top hand to prevent your top shoulder from rolling down, creating a beautiful heart opener.

Explore Variations…

Supported Side Plank is a great alternative or a way to build into the full pose. Place your bottom knee directly under your hips for proper support. Your top leg can rest down towards your mat or can be lifted evenly with your hips.

Try bending your extended leg and grabbing ahold of your foot behind you. If the hand-to-foot connection isn’t there yet, use a strap to assist. Press your foot back into your hand/strap for a nice quad & hip stretch along with a gentle backbend. This will also begin to challenge your balance more.

If you struggle with wrist pain, try creating a fist with your bottom hand instead of an open, flat palm.


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