[Pose Of the Week] Build Strength & Balance with Basic Side Plank Pose (Beginner)

Strengthen your shoulders, arms and core and challenge your balance in Basic Side Plank Pose…

Basic Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana) – also known as simply Side Plank Pose – is a unique and somewhat challenging arm balance pose that requires some core and shoulder strength as well as coordination and balance. This pose strengthens the arms, legs, wrists, shoulders, and core muscles, improves balance – both physical and mental – and may help to improve focus and boost confidence.

You can modify this pose by placing the soles of your feet against a wall to ground yourself, or by resting your bottom knee or top foot on the floor. If you feel any strain in your neck, you can look down or straight ahead rather than up towards your raised hand. For an additional challenge, lift your top leg up toward the ceiling while maintaining balance in the pose.

If you have a wrist injury, practice the pose with your forearm resting on the floor to avoid putting weight on your wrists, rather than balancing on your palm. Those who have recent or chronic shoulder injuries should avoid this pose.

How to Do Basic Side Plank Pose:

  1. Begin in High Plank with hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Drop your heels to the right and shift your weight to your right hand.
  2. Slowly reach your left hand up to the ceiling, opening your chest and hips to the left side of your mat. Option to keep your feet staggered or stack the left foot on top of the right.
  3. Press down into the base knuckles of your grounded hand and hug your shoulder blades toward each other and down toward your hips.
  4. Squeeze the inseam of both legs toward each other and imagine they can roll back behind you (internal rotation).
  5. Reach the crown of your head away from your heels.
  6. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then release and repeat on the other side.
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