In Hinduism, Vasistha was a saint who possessed a divine cow. The cow's offspring could grant whatever its owners wished, which made Vasistha wealthy. This is why the Sanskrit word for "wealthy" is vasistha. This is an apt name for vasisthasana as it can help the yogi feel abundant in power and confidence in their yoga practice as it requires strong mental focus and balance.
Vasisthasana assists in opening the anahata (heart) chakra as it opens the chest. This helps the yogi to feel more receptive to the serenity, love, balance and peace that is all linked to the anahata chakra. Vasishthasana is also believed to open the manipura (solar plexus or navel) chakra, which is associated with self-esteem, transformative power, decisiveness and confidence.
In an advanced version of the pose (sometimes called eka pada vasisthasana),
the upper leg is raised to the sky and the upraised hand holds the big
toe. This version was taught by the late B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of Iyengar
yoga. In both variations of the asana, the drishti (gaze) is either straight ahead (easier for alignment) or toward the upraised arm.