VASISTHASANA (SIDE PLANK POSE) HOW TO PERFORM
Begin in Purvottanasana (upward plank pose). Place your hand behind your back, lifting your sternum and hips to the ceiling.
Tlirn the feet and trunk to the left, place the right leg over the left, with the feet together. Keeping your wrist, elbow, and shoulder in one straight line.
Bend the right leg with the knee pointing up. Reach inside the bent leg and catch the big toe with the index and middle fingers of the top hand. Secure these fingers by wrapping them with the thumb. If possible straighten the right arm and leg so that the leg is raised perpendicular to the floor. Tlirn the head and look up. Balance, breathe deeply. Remain in the pose for 5-10 breaths then release the grip on the toe, and return the top foot to its original position. Assume a push-up position, then repeat on the other side. When performed on both sides, realign the spine in Adho Mukha Svanasana.
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Vasistha literally means most excellent, best, richest. This asana is a complete body workout as it improves wrist, arm and shoulder strength. Strengthens the obliques, while the abdominals work to stabilise the entire body. Improves sense of balance and is a good preparation for more challenging arm balances.
PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS
Make sure to warm up your wrists, arms, shoulders and hamstrings before attempting the full version of Vasisthasana. Avoid this asana if you have a serious wrist, elbow, or shoulder injury.
In order to increase your core strength and stability, it is helpful to push your bottom foot’s heel actively into a wall whilst performing Vasisthasana.