Side Plank Pose

Definition - What does Side Plank Pose mean?

Side plank pose is a challenging posture that strengthens the abdomen, legs and arms, as well as promotes mental focus and balance.

To enter the pose, begin in a strong and well-aligned plank pose. Bring the feet together, pressing the toes firmly into the ground. Press down into the right hand, shifting your weight to be carried on the right side of the body. Gently begin to roll the body to the left, lifting the left arm overhead and firmly pressing the side of the right foot into the floor while lifting the hips so that all the weight is carried on the right arm and right foot. Once balanced, align the left foot on top of the right foot, “stacking” the feet at the arches. The right arm should still be aligned and firm from the shoulder through the wrist with fingers pressing into the ground. Continue lifting the hips so that the body is aligned from the top of the head to the feet while the right arm is supporting the body and the left arm is stretched towards the ceiling, with eyes gazing up at the left hand. Once strength and balance is developed, the practitioner may want to attempt the full expression of this pose by lifting the left leg into the air or gently grabbing the left foot with the left hand and lifting both together. To come out of the pose, return the left hand to the floor while slowly rolling back into plank pose. Repeat on the opposite side for the same number of breaths.

Side plank pose is also known as vasisthasana in Sanskrit.

Yogapedia explains Side Plank Pose

Side plank pose increases balance while toning the abdomen (especially the side) and strengthening the legs and arms. It stretches and strengthens the wrist and can help prepare practitioners for more advanced arm-balancing poses. This posture is often considered one of the best poses for strengthening the abdominal muscles, which can assist in improving posture as well as protecting the spine over time.

Side plank pose's Sanskrit synonym, vasisthasana, means "best" or "wealthy" pose. In Hinduism, Vasistha was a saint who possessed a divine cow and her children could grant whatever their owners wished, which made Vasistha wealthy. Likewise, side plank pose can help the practitioner feel powerful and confidently wealthy as he/she notices his/her balance and abdominal strength improving over time.

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