The side plank pose, or vasisthasana, is the ideal balance of power and flexibility. Balance, muscular strength, and stretching are the three main aspects of the body that this pose focuses on. This pose opens the heart chakra beautifully and does wonders for calming the nervous system.
Most styles of power, vinyasa, and sculpt yoga include this pose.
This foundational position, used in the Ashtanga series and poses, is the ideal transition.
It energizes the Solar Plexus and strengthens the musculoskeletal system (Manipura Chakra).
It is among the best exercises for strengthening and focusing on your obliques. It aids in bringing endurance and concentration to more demanding poses, eventually preparing students for a more difficult variation like Visvamitrasana or Kapinjalasana (Partridge Pose).
STEPS FOR SIDE PLANK POSE:
- Begin with Adho Mukha Svanasana first (Downward Facing Dog Pose).
- Hold this position for about 4-6 breaths while extending the hamstrings, arms, and shoulders to lower the chest to the floor.
- Extend the torso from here to Phalakasana (Plank Pose).
- As you bring the hips to align with the shoulders and chest, stay for four breaths, balancing the shoulders on the wrists.
- Taking a deep breath, turn the shoulders and hips to the left, nearly 90 degrees, aligning the body with the left arm and slowly releasing the left hand from the floor.
- Finally, align the hips with the shoulders and face by placing the left foot over the right foot and raising the left arm.
- Take a deep breath, extend your arm, pull in your belly to tighten your abs, and hold the position for about four breaths. It’s a good idea first to rest the feet on the ground before moving the feet tp outer edges.
- After exhaling, lower the arm and return to Adho Mukha Svanasana.
- Stay for four breaths while relaxing and repeating on the opposite side.
- While keeping the alignment in mind, ensure both sides receive the same amount of stretch.
- Initial leg and hip shaking are typical, but one can get over it with practice.
- Suck in your stomach to maintain your core strength.
- This aids in keeping things in balance.
- Maintain your position to the best of your ability.
- Get out of the pose by returning to Adho Mukha Svanasana.
- In Prasarita Balasana, unwind at last.
Benefits of a side plank pose:
Lengthens, Strengthens, and Stretches:
The arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back of the legs, calves, and ankles are all stretched out in this position. Particularly for the obliques, it is a significant lengthening and strengthening pose.The bottom leg’s inner obliques lengthen while the top leg’s external obliques are strengthened.
One arm supports the entire body weight in this pose, primarily strengthening the arms, wrists, shoulders, abdominal muscles, and core.
Students develop their core strength while learning to concentrate on effectively using their abdominal region as they practice this pose.
The scapula (shoulder blades), which are necessary for all arm balance yoga poses, are also taught to the students. The core muscles are strengthened when the hips are stable, and the spine is supported.Biceps and triceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, IT band, and calves all become active to maintain this pose.
Flexibility and Range of Motion:
This pose improves the strength, flexibility, and range of motion of the joints in the knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and wrists.
Chest, Diaphragm, and Breath:
The expansion of the sternum, ribcage and upper body makes this pose a moderate chest opener. The diaphragm is beautifully engaged when practicing this pose while moving, and students learn how to breathe thoracic.
Awareness and Concentration:
The plank pose is the usual starting position for this pose. Students benefit from this transition as they develop complete awareness and consciousness. It is crucial to understand your body’s limitations to perform this pose.
When you concentrate on spinal alignments, you train the body’s intelligence. This pose facilitates building stamina and concentration for difficult poses.
Alignment and Posture:
The body is positioned in a single, long, diagonal line from the top of the head to the heels. Maintaining neutral spine alignment while performing this pose is difficult due to gravity’s pull.
Proper core engagement is needed for the alignment to be correct.
Prana flow improves and protects students from injuries once proper alignment has been achieved.
Energizing, De-stressing, and Relaxing:
This pose works the entire body, energizing it to move on to more advanced, complex poses. Organs are particularly stimulated by this pose’s stretching of the digestive system.
This procedure helps to improve digestion and general health by igniting the digestive fire (Jatharagni). Because yoga poses are thought to be therapeutic by nature, doing this pose regularly can help your heart and circulatory system.
Emotions and Balance:
This pose’s emphasis on balance is crucial. Students who practice balancing postures develop their mental fortitude. This pose boosts confidence and stimulates and balances the emotional quotient, and this posture stimulates the solar plexus chakra.
Students can access their inner strength better when they have a healthy solar plexus. Chest openers like this pose help release emotions like rage, grief, sadness, etc., that the body tends to store. The chest’s expansion promotes blood flow and oxygen to the nerves, giving students a mental and physical boost.
Because this pose is advanced, teenagers, athletes, sportspeople, and children can practice it.
Postnatal women should wait to perform this pose until they have finished the first eight weeks of postpartum healing.
Before attempting this pose, they should also have developed sufficient core strength.
Contraindications for the side plank pose:
Injury and Surgery:
The side plank pose should not be performed by students who have injuries to their wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, hips, back, knees, or ankles. Students should avoid injuries to their legs, backs, or arms because they are contraindicated.
Students who have undergone abdominal surgery must take safety precautions, inform the teacher, and refrain from performing Side Plank Pose.
Absence of Body-Breath Connections:
The teacher needs to address several subtle body-breath awareness aspects in this side plank pose for the students.
To get the most out of this lovely arm balance pose, body awareness, stability in the hips and core, and knowledge of how to switch from abdominal to chest breathing while entering and exiting the posture are all necessary.
Preventing strain or injury is among the main justifications for this.
Students must stay out of the pose if the instructor believes they cannot make this body-breath connection or lack the necessary strength.
Physical Strength and Weakness:
Because this posture puts pressure on the shoulder girdle and upper body, students should avoid it until they are fully recovered, if they have any chest, ribcage, or shoulder problems, or if they have rheumatoid arthritis or a herniated disc.
Side plank pose should not be performed if you suffer from migraines, high blood pressure, vertigo, dizziness, metaphalangeal arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, etc.
Beginner students must practice with the wall support designed specifically for ankles because they lack body control and are learning to balance with awareness.
Seniors should refrain from striking this pose.Healthy first-trimester pregnant women should only perform this pose.