Vasisthasana in its full expression is a strong side plank pose fired up with lots of internal power.
Gratefully, it lends itself nicely to modification for a variety of student levels and abilities.
(We cover full vasisthasana in this earlier post.)
This variation of vasisthasana is a more-forgiving level of this pose…but there are easier levels though, one that would entail not lifting the top leg at all and anchoring the top foot into the mat.
Even though this version looks fairly doable, you might be surprised at what this pose requires of you. With attention to knee and hand placement (slightly staggered, not on the same line), balance will come a bit easier. Once the core muscles figure out how to activate here, you’ll be able to find balance and lift the top leg.
All the details and actions are included in the tip sheet below to help you guide your students into their full expression of this vasisthasana variation.
The added benefit of this version over the full pose is that the weight of the body is spread between the hand and knee, taking much of the work and stress out of the bottom shoulder. Great for students who are still building strength in their upper bodies.
Entry into this pose can come from a variety of poses—adho mukha svanasana, plank, table, to name just a few—choose the one that suits your class level.
Leaving the top hand on top hip is a good starting place, then once solid balance is established, raise the top arm. Cue students prior to raising arm that this change in position requires steadiness in the core. Holding a gaze point below the horizon during this transition can really help the balance.
Enjoy exploring this version of vasisthasana. The hidden treasures you’ll find are well worth the journey.
Below are some additional details of this pose…as usual, download this tip sheet at the bottom of this post.
asana name = vasisthasana
- vasistha = most excellent, best or richest
- asana = seat
- Good strengthening pose for the wrists, arms and shoulders.
- Strengthens and tones the abdomen, especially the obliques.
- Develops stamina in arms and shoulders.
- Enhances balance and focus.
- Knee injury or discomfort
- Shoulder injury
- Wrist injury or discomfort
- Pad the down knee for comfort.
- Leave top foot on ground to increase balance.
- Set up backside against wall to really feel the opening and extension…then take asana away from the wall. 🙂
- Press top foot into wall to feel the extension through this leg.
- Expansive freedom
Vasisthasana qualifies as one of those “workhorse” poses that packs plenty of benefits, even in this fairly mild form. It’s fabulous for strengthening the core and reminding the body how to balance in different orientations.
What you can do next
- As usual, scroll down and leave us a comment, such as, “Hey, my 86-year-old grandmother loves this variation of vasisthasana!” We want to hear from you!
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