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An Easy Guide to Vasisthasana, or Side Plank Yoga Pose

Vasisthasana, or Side Plank Yoga Pose is great for relieving tension and stiffness at the end of the day, lengthening the spine, arms and legs. This beginners’ pose is also a great way to develop your sense of balance, and build your concentration, as you focus upon remaining stable, limbs outstretched.

Vasisthasana

Vasisthasana is a simple looking pose that teaches us correct alignment in the face of gravity. 

In this yoga pose, focus on visualising a straight spine, shoulders and hips supported by a stable abdomen.


Watch a clip for this yoga pose 


How to do Vasisthasana, or Side Plank Yoga Pose, in easy steps

Step 1:

Start in Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).

Step 2:

Exhale and twist to the left side so you're in a diagonal - on the outside edge of your right foot, supporting your body weight on your right foot and hand.

Step 3:

Make sure the right hand is at a small angle to your shoulders and press the palm into the ground.

Step 4:

Place the right edge of the left foot on top of the left edge of the right foot.

Step 5:

Place your left hand on your hip and roll your body up and to the left so that your hips are square to the opposite wall.  

Step 6:

Now tighten down the front of the body and extend out through the heels.

Step 7:

On a next exhalation, lift the left arm up parallel to the shoulders. Feel the line of energy from the fingertips of the right hand to the fingertips of the left hand.

Step 8:

Keep the head in a neutral position, or turn it to gaze at the top hand.


Step 9:

If you want to take it a step further, raise the left leg up on an exhalation. Maintain this balance for 5 breaths.

Step 10:

Stay in Side Plank Pose for 10 breaths. Breathe comfortably.

Step 11:

Exhale and return to Downward Dog. Repeat on the other side.



Vasisthasana

Yoga pose category:  Weight on hands

Level: 2

Although this is a beginners’ yoga pose, many yogis will find it hard to remain balanced in this way for long. Try practicing with the back of your heels pressed up firmly against a wall, as this will provide extra support, so that you can focus on perfecting the arm movement and lengthening the body. Remember, it will take time, effort and dedication to master Vasisthasana freestanding.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Vasistha - famous sage

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Vasisthasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:

Stress

Balance issues 

Upper body strength

Weak arms

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Vasisthasana if you have any of the following health conditions:

Wrist injury

Shoulder injury

Elbow injury



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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.

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