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”

Introduction

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.

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Muscle Focus

Side Plank Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Thighs (Quadriceps)
  • Adductor Muscles
  • Calf Muscles
  • Pelvic Muscles
  • Obliques
  • Shoulders
  • Arms muscles

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • Improves balance and concentration.
  • Strengthens quads or front thigh muscles.
  • Strengthens and tones the side muscles (Obliques).

Benefits of Vasisthasana or Side Plank Pose

1. Improves Wrist Mobility

The key benefit of this pose is that it strengthens and tones the arms, wrists, core, and legs. It also tests your balance, helping to improve focus and concentration. This pose can be helpful for improving wrist flexibility.

2. Tones and Strengthens the Core

This pose tones and strengthens the core muscles. It helps to improve balance, focus, and concentration. Additionally, it stretches and strengthens the side body.

3. Opens Hips and Hamstrings

Another great benefit of this pose is that it opens up the hips and hamstrings. This can help to relieve tension in these areas. Additionally, it increases strength and stability in the lower body.

4. Improves Balance

Vasisthasana also improves balance and helps to improve focus and concentration. It can be helpful for building strength in the arms, wrists, core, and legs. Additionally, it stretches and strengthens the side body.

5. Strengthens Arms and Legs

This pose strengthens the arms and legs. Additionally, it helps to increase wrist flexibility.

6. Reduces Anxiety

Another benefit of this pose is that it reduces anxiety by promoting a sense of calmness in the body and mind. It also relieves stress in the shoulders and neck, helping to improve posture as well as the balance between both sides of your body (left arm/right leg).

7. Helps to Lose Fat

Finally, Vasisthasana can help with weight loss by burning calories during yoga practice. This can help to reduce body fat and tone muscles.

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.

Variations

  • Vasisthasana with Legs Extended

Preparatory Pose

  • Phalakasana (Plank Pose)
  • Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dolphin Plank Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Place a block or blanket under your head if you have difficulty keeping it off of the floor during this pose.
  • This pose can also be practiced with one leg crossed over in front of the other for more stability.
  • If you’re new to arm balances, practice Vasisthasana against a wall for support until you gain enough strength to lift into Side Plank Pose from plank position without falling out of alignment.

How to do Side Plank Pose

  • We will start with the plank pose.
  • Slowly start to shift your body weight to the right hand, and extend your left hand towards the ceiling or sky.
  • Now, we need to open up our body to the left side by placing the left foot directly on top of the right foot.
  • Try to keep both of your legs extended and maintain your balance.
  • Make sure to engage your glutes (Hip muscles).
  • Hold as long as you comfortably can.

Mental Benefits of Side Plank Pose

  • Focus and concentration.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety.
  • Sense of calmness.
  • peace in the mind and body.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Vasisthasana or Side Plank Pose is a great pose for improving balance, focus, and concentration. It also tones and strengthens the arms, wrists, core, and legs. Additionally, it opens up the hips and hamstrings. This pose has many benefits for the body and mind and should be included in your regular yoga routine! Namaste!

1 sources
  1. https://synapse.koreamed.org/articles/1101087
Meera Watts
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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