How to do Side Plank or Vashistasana

The side plank (be sure to like and subscribe to our channel!) pose is actually a 3rd series posture found in the Ashtanga Yoga series. That means, at least in Ashtanga, this posture wasn’t explored by folks newer to yoga. However, here in the states at least, you can find side plank cued in yoga classes that cater to everyone from the most basic to more advanced.

A version of Side Plank is actually a core exercise seen in several workout type classes and can bring about good stability and strength in you core; stabilizing muscles, shoulders and glutes. When you can grab hold of your toe and lift that top leg, it can also help to build flexibility in the glutes, core and shoulders even more.

Today, you can learn the different ways to work on strength in this pose as well as modifications to your practice.

Things to remember when practicing Vashistasana or Side Plank.

1) Try not to lock out your elbows

2) Engage your shoulder muscles by actively pressing the hand in to the ground, using your biceps to help push the ground away from you, and sending the shoulders down and away from the ears.

3) if you tend to have hypermobile elbows, be sure you soften your elbows (which can help recruit your biceps and tricep muscles more.

4) start out on your knee until your shoulders and core are ready to come up on the feet.

5) Yoga Trick- try to flatten out the bottom foot. This provides more surface area to press the feet into which helps you lift the hips even more.

6) Be mindful that you don’t press all your weight into the outside edges of your hand. Rather, try to actively press into the thumb and forefinger to help spread the weight more evenly around the hand.

How to Practice Side Plank

You can practice this pose statically (holding it for 5-15 or even 30 seconds or more) or you can make it a more dynamic exercise by adding hip dips (if your shoulders are ready for it), or moving between plank and side plank. You can also try keeping your feet stacked or raising up the top leg. Another fun drill is to try to take the top leg and place it on the ground behind the bottom leg, lift it (keeping hips stacked, and recruiting your glutes and outer thigh muscles), then tap it on the ground in front of the bottom toe.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN! 🙂

What do you think?

Do you like to practice Side Plank?

What is your favorite variation of this pose?