Vasisthasana is one of those fabulous asanas that’s a one stop shop arm balance. Not only will you get an intense ab workout that targets those often neglected obliques, but it tightens the entire core. It’s such a great pose, that it’s been borrowed by non-yoga workouts as a secret weapon for keeping abs tights and the waist small. It primarily strengthens entire core, but it also targets the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus in the hips, as well as the adductor muscles located in the inner thigh. But wait! There’s more! The secondary the side plank also works several other muscles that provide additional stability as you hold the position including the gluteus maximus, the quadriceps on the front of your thighs and the hamstrings on the back of your thighs.
Keep your shoulders, hips, knees and feet in one straight diagonal line,
Important: make sure your neck and head continue the line of your spine.
Keep obliques pulled up up up at all times to avoid hips collapsing.
From downward facing down, come into plank pose.
Walk right hand to center line point on the mat slightly in FRONT of shoulders; you will sometime hear instructors teach you to align it directly under shoulder, and this is not “wrong.” However, to do the full expression of the pose and do transitions later, you must have your hand in front of your shoulder. This also allows you to lift hips higher, really working the obliques and core.
On an inhale, start rotating body upward, and raising your left hand into the air. Shift weight onto right hand and keep core engaged. Once turned on your side, stack your feet.
This is the first variation. You can come down on one knee if you get tired; think elevate elevate elevate and lift your torso up from the obliques.
You can stay here, or add on. Go into a vrksasana tree pose variation by rotating your hip open and stacking foot on your inner thigh. Pull that knee out so its perfectly in line with your leg, not tilting back or forward over the thigh. This is help your balance, and also provide a lovely stretch.
For the full expression, keep that core TIGHT and the hips LIFTED using your obliques. Lift your foot off your thigh, and while it’s still bent, grab the big toe with peace fingers. Lift your leg from the core to maintain balance. If you try to kick it up, it will be much harder to maintain your balance.
Finally, if you would like to, you can flip over into a wild thing pose (or even a bridge pose if you’re feeling daring:)