Modified Side Plank

Definition - What does Modified Side Plank mean?

Modified side plank is a strengthening and balancing yoga asana that prepares the arms and core for more advanced arm-balancing poses.

To enter the pose, begin in a well-aligned plank pose. Lower the right knee to the mat while keeping the left leg extended. With a strong right arm and hand firmly on the mat, rotate the body to the left, shifting support to the extended left leg and right arm. Lift the hips and extend the left arm out, creating a diagonal line from the left foot to the extended left hand and arm. The right knee remains under the right hip to provide a solid foundation. Hold for five to 10 breaths. To exit, drop the left hand to the floor and come back into plank pose. Repeat on the opposite side for the same number of breaths.

The Sanskrit name for the full expression of modified side plank pose, or side plank pose, is Vasisthasana.

Yogapedia explains Modified Side Plank

Modified side plank pose increases balance while toning the abdomen, especially the extended side. It strengthens the legs, arms and wrists. Both modified side plank and the full expression of side plank pose are considered effective poses for strengthening the abdominal muscles. Over time, this helps to improve the posture and protect the spine.

Benefits of this pose include:

  • Strengthens and tones abdominal muscles
  • Tones the side of the body
  • Strengthens arms, wrists and legs
  • Improves posture
  • Promotes focus
  • Improves balance

The full expression of Vasisthasana means "wealthy pose." In Hinduism, Vasistha was a saint who owned a divine cow. The cow's calves could grant wishes, making Vasistha wealthy. Likewise, modified side plank pose can help yogis feel confidently wealthy as they notice their balance and abdominal strength increasing over time.

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