Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)

This side plank is a great exercise for strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles, which don’t get worked during ab exercises such as crunches. You will hold your body on your side in a straight position supported only by one arm and the side of one foot.

There are a lot of ways to modify your side plank. Some Variations offer more support for beginners as you build strength or to accommodate injuries. Others incorporate moves that make this balancing pose even more challenging for people who want to amp it up.


Beginner / Intermediate.


  • Arm Balance.
  • Core.
  • Strength.

Body Parts Involved:

  • Wrist.
  • Leg.
  • Arm.
  • Navel.


No equipment.

Benefits of Side Plank Pose:

  • Strengthens and tones arms, core and legs.
  • Improved concentration.
  • Improves balance.
  • Strengthens the belly and wrists.
  • Stretches the back of the legs.

Contraindications and Cautions:

  •  Students with serious wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries should avoid this pose.

How to do Basic Plank Pose:

  • Begin in Plank Pose
  • Transfer your body weight to your right hand and raise your left hand off the floor towards the ceiling.
  • Roll from the ball onto the outer edge of your right foot.
  • Open your chest to the left as you place your left foot directly on the top of your right foot.
  • Keep your legs straight and flex both  the feet strongly.
  • Your left hip is stacked directly over your right. Both hips have a tendency to want to sag, so lift them energetically up.
  • Take your gaze up to your left fingertips.
  • After several breaths, repeat the same with your left hand on the floor and right hand up towards the ceiling.
  • Release gently into plank pose- exhale by bending your knees on the floor.

Modifications and Props:

  • In order to increase the strength and stability of this pose, it’s helpful to work it with your soles pressing against a wall.
  • To make it easier place a block below your legs.

Preparatory Poses:

Follow Up Poses: 

  • Shoulder Pressing Pose.
  • Crow Pose.
  • Warrior Poses
  • Four limbed staff pose.
  • Eagle arms.

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Yoga asana is the third limb of the eight- limbed path outlined in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali- a seminal yogic text.

The eight limbs are as follows.

  • Yamas and Niyamas ( Moral and ethical codes.
  • Asanas ( Postures)
  • Pranayama ( Breathwork)
  • Pratyahara ( withdrawal of the senses)
  • Dharana ( concentration)
  • Dhyana ( Meditation )
  • Samadhi ( spiritual absorption)

Practice of these yoga sutras shouldn’t be painful.

If you are experiencing an excess of emotional and / or physical discomfort during your practice – either come out of the pose you’re doing or ask your teacher on how you can adjust and go with the flow which suits your body taking into consideration any contraindications or injuries.

At homasana, our goal is to inspire your practice with in-depth articles, video courses and challenges. We are devoted to sharing yoga with the world inspiring everyone wishing for a respectful life, Happy and peaceful mind- body.

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