side plank pose vasisthasana

Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose or One Arm Balancing Pose)

English Name(s)

Vasisthasana, One Arm Balancing Pose, Side Plank Pose

Sanskrit

वसिष्ठासन / Vasiṣṭhāsana

Pronunciation

vah-sis-TAH-suh-nuh

Meaning

vasistha: “most excellent/best”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Vasisthasana (vah-sis-TAH-suh-nuh) tones the entire upper body and strengthens the back muscles, especially the lumbar area. It develops a sense of balance and strengthens the arms, wrists, legs and abdominal wall.

Energetic Benefits

Striving for the perfect balance is essential in our life. Once Lord Buddha was lying by the river after long months of fasting and had become very weak and frail. He barely could sit up and his eyes were shrunken inwards. As he was trying to reach for a sip of water from the river, he heard a boat passing by in which a teacher was teaching a student a string instrument. The teacher said, “If you tighten the string too much it will snap. If you loosen it too much it will not play. Find the in-between.” This incident played a great role in the life of Buddha in finding the middle path. Asanas that require balance will teach the student to find their center.

Contraindications

Those with wrist, elbow and shoulder issues should avoid this pose. Do this pose with the back leaning against the wall for better balance and support.

Going into the Pose

Categories:

Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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