There is a reason Side Plank (Vasisthasana) is also named “Most Excellent Pose.” It improves our core strength. It offers a way to practice our sense of balance in a non-threatening way (on the ground!) It strengthens our wrists and tones our arms. When we put it all together and add breath-work to the mix, it gives our mind something excellent to focus on. This short video will show you how to get in and out of yoga's Most Excellent Pose.
Begin in Plank Pose. You can get there from your hands and knees then stretch your legs out behind you, or walk your hands out from a forward fold. Breathe here, expanding your belly and ribs on each inhale, and pulling your belly toward your spine on each exhale. Shift your weight to one hand. Bring your feet together and drop back so your feet are stacked one on top of the other. Inhale and reach your free hand toward the sky. Lift your hips away from the ground and breathe deeply.
If this pose is challenging for you, bend your top leg to bring your foot to the floor in front of your hip. This will give you the extra support you need but you’ll still enjoy all the benefits of the pose. When you’re ready, move back to plank, taking a break if you need it. Be sure to spend an equal amount of time on the opposite side. Excellent job!
Image: Most Excellent Pose from Yoga Teddy Bear’s Big Little Coloring Book of 108 Poses. Video by K. Mae Copham, shot by Robert Oakley, October 2018 in Pismo Beach, CA