The side plank pose challenges your ability to stay calm and focused. This pose is also sometimes referred to as “Sage Pose.”
Benefits of Side Plank Pose
Side plank pose strengthens your wrists, forearms, shoulders, and spine. This pose also strengthens the abdominal muscles and while improving balance, concentration, and focus. Vasisthasana is often used as a preparation for more challenging arm balances.
Start on all fours. Raise your hips and shift your weight forward to come into Plank Pose (the top of a push-up): Palms flat, body extended, with your legs reaching through your heels.
Step your feet together and press your weight down through your right hand and forearm. Next, shift your body to the right, balancing on the edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of your right foot and keep your legs straight.
Beginners can lower their right knee and shin to the mat, keeping their hips raised.
Raise your left arm to the sky, reaching through your fingers as you raise your hips and hold the triceps of both arms. Feel the muscles across your shoulder blades flex. Flex your thighs, and press through your heels into the floor.
Bring your body into one straight line. Gaze 3 inches in front of your hands.
Hold for up to 30 seconds. Exhale as you slowly return to Plank Pose, then down to all fours. Repeat on the opposite side.
Modifications & Variations
Vasisthasana is a strong arm and core exercise when practiced correctly. Remember to take your time and be careful not to strain your body. The following variations can help you perform this pose either as a beginner or an advanced yogi:
Bring your bottom knee and shin to the mat until you have enough strength to fully support your body weight.
More advanced students: Bend the top knee and draw it toward your chest. Grab your big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of your top hand. Inhale as you stretch your leg straight up toward the ceiling, bringing the top leg perpendicular to the floor. Hold 30 seconds, then return your top foot to its original position, and repeat on the opposite side.