Vasisthasana: Mastering Side Plank Pose in Yoga


In the vast tapestry of yoga poses, Vasisthasana, or Side Plank Pose, stands as a beacon of strength, balance, and mindfulness. This asana, named after the revered sage Vasistha, is a dynamic posture that not only challenges the body but also nurtures the spirit. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of Vasisthasana, exploring its benefits, modifications for beginners and advanced practitioners, and practical tips for enhancing your proficiency in this empowering yoga pose.


Understanding Vasisthasana:

Vasisthasana is a lateral arm balance that involves supporting the body’s weight on one arm while keeping the entire body in a straight line. The pose requires engagement of the core, legs, and shoulders, making it a comprehensive exercise for overall strength and stability. To achieve Vasisthasana, start in a plank position and then shift the weight onto one arm, lifting the opposite arm towards the sky. The body should form a straight line from head to heels, creating a side plank shape.

Benefits of Vasisthasana:

Core Strength and Stability:

  • Vasisthasana is a powerhouse for building core strength. The pose activates the obliques, transverse abdominis, and deep core muscles, promoting stability and balance throughout the body.

Arm and Shoulder Toning:

  • As the majority of the body’s weight is supported by one arm, Vasisthasana is an excellent exercise for toning the arms and shoulders. Regular practice can enhance shoulder strength and stability.

Improved Focus and Concentration:

  • Achieving balance in Vasisthasana requires focused attention and concentration. The pose encourages mindfulness and mental clarity, fostering a deeper connection between the mind and body.

Increased Flexibility:

  • Vasisthasana engages and stretches the muscles along the sides of the torso, hips, and legs, promoting flexibility in these areas. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with tightness in the hips or hamstrings.

Modifications for Beginners:

Knee Down Variation:

  • For those new to Vasisthasana, start with the knee down variation. Begin in a plank position, and then lower the bottom knee to the mat. Lift the hips towards the sky, extending the top arm overhead. This modification provides additional support while allowing beginners to focus on building strength.

Forearm Support:

  • To reduce wrist strain, beginners can perform Vasisthasana with forearm support. Instead of supporting the body on the palm, lower onto the forearm while maintaining a straight line from head to heels. This modification eases the intensity on the wrists and shoulders.


Modifications for Advanced Practitioners:

Extended Leg Variation:

  • For an added challenge, advanced practitioners can lift the top leg towards the sky, creating a stacked leg variation. This intensifies the engagement of the core and requires increased stability to maintain the pose.

Variation with Toe Hold:

  • Elevate the difficulty by reaching the top arm under the body, attempting to hold onto the big toe of the lifted leg. This variation not only demands strength but also enhances flexibility in the shoulders and hamstrings.


Tips for Improving Vasisthasana:

Focus on Alignment:

  • Pay close attention to maintaining a straight line from head to heels. Engage the core, lift the hips, and avoid sagging or arching the body.

Build Strength Gradually:

  • Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is mastery of Vasisthasana. Start with modifications and gradually progress as your strength and stability improve.

Practice Regularly:

  • Consistency is key in yoga. Include Vasisthasana in your regular practice to witness gradual improvements in strength, balance, and flexibility.

Let’s Practice!

Vasisthasana, the Side Plank Pose, offers a multitude of physical and mental benefits. Whether you are a beginner seeking stability or an advanced practitioner craving a challenge, the variations and modifications of this pose ensure accessibility to practitioners of all levels. 

Every month at Vikasa we are offer a ‘Pose of the Month’ challenge to help inspire and educate our global Vikasa community on new poses that you can try yourself and work on mastering at home. 

We’ll share with you a detailed blog post with all the details about the pose, plus a 20 minute video where the pose of the month is used as the Peak Pose in the class.


WIN a YTT with us!

Share a post of you doing your version of the pose of the month and go into the running to WIN:

  • Our full Online 200hr Foundation Yoga Teacher Training (valued at $1,000) 
  • OR $1,000 off one of our in-person Yoga Teacher Training Programs at Vikasa here in Koh Samui, Thailand. 

Both training options enable you to become a certified yoga teacher and teach anywhere around the world. 


All you need to do to enter is:

  1. Share a post in your IG feed of you doing the pose of the month
  2. Tag us IN the post
  3. Share it to your stories and tag us 

We hope you enjoy learning and advancing each month with us and we’re excited to gift one lucky winner a month with the chance to become a Vikasa yoga teacher too. 

This months Pose of the Month is Vasisthasana- Side Plank Pose. Enjoy your FREE CLASS with Ann below!