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10Jan

Featured Yoga Pose January 2014: Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

 

1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog. Lower your hips and shift your weight forward to come into Plank Pose (the top of a push-up): Palms flat, body extended, with your legs reaching through your heels.

2. Step your feet together and press your weight down through your right hand and forearm. Then, roll your body to the right, lifting the left hand to the ceiling, balancing on the outer edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of your right foot and keep your legs straight. (Beginners can lower their right knee and shin to the mat, keeping their hips lifted while building strength in the arms and torso.)
3. Extend your left arm to the sky, reaching through your fingertips as you lift your hips and firm the triceps of both arms. Feel the muscles across your shoulder blades flex. Firm your thighs, and press through your heels into the floor.
4. Bring your body into one straight line. Gaze at your top thumb. Press down through your bottom index finger.
5. Hold for up to 30 seconds. Exhale as you slowly return to Plank Pose, then into Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the opposite side. After both sides, rest in Child’s Pose.

Benefits
•Strengthens wrists, forearms, shoulders, and spine.
•Increases flexibility in the wrists, hips and hamstrings.
•Tones the abdominal muscles and improves balance, concentration, and focus.

Cautions
Avoid this pose if you have an arm, shoulder, or wrist injury.

Excerpted From: http://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-side-plank-pose-in-yoga

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