Everyone’s favourite pose – Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

 A lot of people see side plank as a bit like Bran Flakes; they know it’s good for them, but it still doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.

MMA Fighter Mario in Side Plank pose, assisted by Ed.
Mario mastering Vasisthasana

Well we’re here to tell you that whilst  side plank is challenging, it can be a very rewarding pose to develop and improve at. It’s brilliant for strengthening the wrists, arms, stomach, legs and is brilliant for your balance! Follow the instructions below which set out 3 different variations to suit all levels.

The 3 variations of Side Plank

Begin in Plank Position

Start in Plank where you’re able to check in with some alignment cues first; pressing back through the heels to lengthen the backs of the legs and engage the front thigh muscles, lift the abdominal muscles towards the spine and lengthen the tailbone towards your heels to create length and stability for the lower back, roll your shoulders down your back and press firmly into the bases of your index fingers.

Start out easy with your knee to the floor

Roll your weight into your left hand and lower your left knee to the floor. Turn your torso to face to the right and roll onto the outside edge of your right foot. The left knee below can create stability and help beginners to learn the strength required in the arms and shoulders in a pose such as this. If you feel balanced you can raise your right arm so that the fingers point towards the ceiling.

Cricket club class in Side Plank with one knee on the floor.

Straighten your leg if you like

If you feel comfortable here and would like more of a challenge, lengthen your left leg to become straight and tuck the left foot underneath the right, so that now you are resting on the outside of your left foot and your left hand. Make sure to flatten your shoulder blade towards your spine and lengthen your tailbone downwards towards your heels.

Notice here if your hips are dipping downwards, if they are try to lift them higher on the inhale so that you can make as straight a diagonal line across the side of your body as possible.

Cricket club class in Side Plank pose with both legs straight, left on top of right.

Raise your leg if you’re feeling up to it

If you would like more of a challenge still, feel free to raise the right leg and keep it lifted and the toes flexed to point towards your face. Notice again if the hips are dipping, press firmly into the left hand to help lift the hips a little higher.

Check in with your left hand, make sure the bases of all the fingers stay firmly rooted towards the floor and the fingers spread wide along the mat, try not to lift the base of the index finger or grip the fingers to the floor.

Move back to Plank Position to finish the pose

Hold this pose for 6 good breaths if possible, move back to plank to check in with your alignment again and then try Vasisthasana on the other side.

Watch out for….

If you have any serious injuries in your shoulders, elbows or wrists, avoid this pose!

Give Side Plank a go! Make sure you do both sides

We’ll be featuring side plank in the classes this week. If side plank is an area of improvement for you, this week is the ideal time to work on it. Have a practice at home if you like and feel free to ask the Yogafurie teachers for some tips

Read the instructions, have a practice of Side Plank and post your Pose of the Week pic to social media

Best of luck with your practice! We’d love to see your Side Plank on our FacebookTwitter or Instagram with the hashtag #yfweeklypose

See you in class!

If you'd like to learn more about Yogafurie and what we do, then get in touch

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