Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pose of the Month: Vasisthasana

December – Vasisthasana or Side Plank

By Rebecca Merritt

Let Vasisthasana help you balance instead of juggle holiday stresses and schedules. It is the perfect pose to help you regain focus, and maybe even stretch your limits.

In a text called Yoga Vasistha, Sage Vasistha helps Prince Rama discover spiritual revelation and wholeness. In the story Vasistha encourages Rama to move away from the physical, material, reality and towards a more satisfying spiritual life.

As the Holidays approach, we tend to think of gifts only as those things we receive wrapped up in boxes. Perhaps this year, take the time to think of the gifts wrapped up in you and in all the wonderful loved ones of your world.

Let Vasisthasana remind you that you have the steadiness to handle whatever the Holidays throw your way and the vastness to add to your joy every year!

  • Improves balance
  • Strengthens wrists, arms, legs
  • Encourages strong core and lower back
  • Stretches the hips
  • Full Variation: stretches the groin, inner thigh and hamstring of the lifted leg

How To:

1. From Plank Pose, roll to the outside edge of the right foot and stack the left foot on top of the right. Reach the left hand toward the sky or to the hip first as you find your balance. Make sure your right hand is directly under shoulder to ensure proper support.

2. Stretch in one long line, reaching with the feet and lengthening to the crown of the head. Roll the shoulder blades together down the back to broaden the chest. Stretch long through the right hand. Ground into the hand to help lift the left hip toward the sky.

3. Hold the pose and breathe. When you are ready, return to Plank and take the pose on the other side.


V1. For help with balance, the stacked foot can step behind to provide more stability.

V2. To move deeper into the pose you can play with taking the stacked leg to the sky – either just lifting the left leg away from the right, flexing the foot and working the legs or by bending the knee and grabbing the toes in yogi toe-lock with the left hand, to stretch even further. See pictures below.



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