Challenge your core, strengthen your arms and legs, & work on your balance & posture with Extended Side Plank Pose…
Extended Side Plank Pose (Utthita Vasishthasana) is an intermediate-to-advanced level yoga pose that strengthens the core and spinal muscles, arms, legs, shoulders, and more. This is a partial arm balance pose that offers great benefits for balance and strength, while also stretching the hips, legs, and wrists. It also helps to increase focus and concentration, and is very beneficial in building a strong core, which is essential for good balance and posture. This pose activates and engages all of your core muscles, without putting strain on the lower back, and may also reduce your risk of back injuries.
Be sure to keep your core, arms, shoulders, and leg muscles engaged throughout the pose. Avoid locking your knee or elbow, and stay lifted in the shoulder. Engage your core muscles strongly to keep your hips from sagging towards the floor. You want to think of being one long line from head to heels.
This is a more advanced pose, so make sure you are fully comfortable with Side Plank before attempting this one. Those with wrist, knee, ankle, or shoulder injuries should skip this one.
How to Do Extended Side Plank Pose:
- From an arm balance position, the weight of the body is supported on one side and distributed equally between the bottom arm and foot while the other (top) arm lifts with fingers spread wide and the other (top) foot stacks on top.
- The top foot is raised up toward the sky and the top hand reaches over to grasp the toes.
- The grounded (bottom) foot is flat and gripping the earth from the outside edge of the foot. If flexibility of the foot is limited then instead of gripping the earth with a flat foot, the weight of the body is balanced on the side edge of the foot that is flexed instead of flat.
- The arm supporting the weight of the body and the grounded foot actively press into the floor as the shoulder blades firm against the back and then widen away from the spine drawing toward the tailbone.
- Core muscles must remain engaged to maintain balance and stability.
- The crown of the head reaches away from the neck and the gaze is either down towards the hand on the floor, or up toward the raised hand.