POSE OF THE MONTH: SIDE PLANK POSE

Starting off the New Year with our December POM’s close relative – side plank pose!

SANSKRIT NAME

  • Vasisthasana

ALIGNMENT & VARIATIONS

  • Bottom hand directly underneath shoulder, fingers spread, middle finger pointing forward
  • Press down through knuckles of fingers to protect wrists
  • Shoulders down away from ears, shoulder blades down the back
  • Slightest micro-bend in elbows to avoid hyper-extending
  • Keep spine long, don’t let hips sag (keep pushing up), core engaged, belly button drawing back towards spine
  • Keep drawing top shoulder back, opening chest and whole body up – whole body is a flat plank of wood
  • Top hand can be placed on the hip, or extended up towards the sky
  • Gaze up towards the top hand if balance and neck are okay

There are a lot of options in this pose, so be sure to experiment and find the one that best suits your body:

  • Option 1: Bottom knee directly under hip, inside edge of top foot on mat (the bottom knee down will aid with balance and put less weight on hand)
  • Option 2: Bottom leg extends, balancing on outside edge of that foot, both feet parallel to short edge of mat (starting to increase strength in arms and challenging balance)
  • Option 3: Stack top foot on top of bottom, so only outside edge of bottom foot and palm of bottom hand are pressing into mat. Don’t let the hips sag! Remember to keep pushing hips up.
  • Option 4: MAYBE starting to lift the top leg up, challenging your balance even further! It’s very easy to forget about the hips in this option – keep pushing hips up!
  • Sensitive wrists: If you experience any discomfort or tension in the wrists, bring the forearm of the bottom arm down to the mat. Stack the shoulder directly above the elbow, forearm parallel to short edge of mat, shoulders down away from ears, neck long. Keep pressing down through forearm and finger knuckles to protect elbow. Choose your leg variations.
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Option 1: Bottom knee directly under hip, inside edge of top foot on mat (the bottom knee down will aid with balance and put less weight on hand)
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Option 2: Bottom leg extends, balancing on outside edge of that foot, both feet parallel to short edge of mat (starting to increase strength in arms and challenging balance)
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Option 3: Stack top foot on top of bottom, so only outside edge of bottom foot and palm of bottom hand are pressing into mat. Don’t let the hips sag! Remember to keep pushing hips up.
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Option 4: MAYBE starting to lift the top leg up, challenging your balance even further! It’s very easy to forget about the hips in this option – keep pushing hips up!
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Sensitive wrists: If you experience any discomfort or tension in the wrists, bring the forearm of the bottom arm down to the mat. Stack the shoulder directly above the elbow, forearm parallel to short edge of mat, shoulders down away from ears, neck long. Keep pressing down through forearm and finger knuckles to protect elbow. Choose your leg variations.

BENEFITS

  • Practicing balance, building heat, strength and stability in wrists, arms, shoulders, back, core and legs
  • Preparing the body for stronger poses, such as arm balances

WATCH: IN SEQUENCE

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