Week 10 :: TriYogaSchool :: Year 2
Our pose for this week is Vasisthasana or Side Plank Pose
🔻 You could think of Side Plank Pose as a mountain pose on 1 arm, but it is also our first arm balance. My 1st video is a side view, the 2nd takes the head perspective so you can see the alignment top to bottom.
🔻 Side plank requires - and builds - major core strength, particularly in the obliques. Remember core = all the muscles that surround the spine : front, back, & sides. Additionally, you will need to engage all the muscles from shoulder to feet in this pose. Keep in mind, a PLANK is a piece of wood - not a noodle!
🔻 Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Bring your feet next to each other & roll your hips to the right, coming to balance on the outer edge of your right foot & your right hand. Starting from down dog will set you up so your base hand is in front of its own shoulder - not right below! This is important for stabilizing the shoulder joint.
🔻 Extend the left arm toward the sky. Reach strongly through that arm to open the chest & prevent caving forward. Draw your belly back & engage your gluteal muscles. You are creating a vest of strength surrounding your torso for stability.
🔻Similarly, engage both your quadriceps & your hamstrings. Now push into the outer edge of your right foot & lift your hips. Create an arching line from outer ankle to armpit. Starting in down dog will also help you to keep your hips UP, especially helpful when you are moving into this pose in a vinyasa.
🔻Draw your head back so it is in line with your spine. Turn your gaze up to your extended hand.
🔻 Release the pose, return to downdog, & repeat on the other side.
This core burner pose is relatively simple & simultaneously very hard! I have options to make it more approachable, to turn up the heat, & to play with options.
✔️ VARIANTS for better access :
1/ One way to make the balance easier in side plank, without compromising alignment, is to stagger your feet.
2/ Lower your body to the ground to find more stability. Do that by supporting yourself on your forearm, rather than your hand. This also helps to relieve any wrist strain.
3/ Another stability idea is to bring the top leg forward into a lunge shape. Be careful not to drop the top hip forward as well. Keep the stacking of the shoulders & the hips.
4/ Alternatively, drop the bottom leg to its knee. Again, caution not to lose the stacking & PLANK shape.
1/ Squeeze a BLOCK between your upper legs to engage your inner thighs. This will assist you to engage your deep core muscles.
2/ Place a STRAP on your ankles and press out against it. This will cause you to engage your outer hips. In the full version of vasisthasana you need to be doing BOTH actions!
✔️ VARIANTS :
I offer numerous choices to spice up your side plank. Try them & let me know your favorite!
Let me know how it goes! 🔸Be creative, be agile, have fun!