YoTip: Beginner – Easy Side Plank Feet


Vasisthasana - Om Panther

Standard Vasisthasana feet can be wobbly for beginners

Words and photos by Lynette Chiang

More YoTips

Vasisthasana, or Side Plank, is not only challenging on the wrists, upper body and core for beginners, it’s often a bit wobbly and uncomfortable on the feet. The “textbook” way is to stacking the feet side by side on top of each other …

I’ve seen students wobble about trying to keep their feet together, and end up flailing about in their upper body. Although there are some standard easy variations that involve using the knees, here’s an easy-on-the-feet variation I learned in my YoGa Rover travels from the masterful  John Churchill of Samadhi Yoga Studio in Newton, MA.

Starting in plank pose with  feet slightly apart. Drop both heels to the left, so the feet are in a line, heel to toe. The advantage is a wider surface area to balance on – weight spread evenly on two feet, not just one:

Vasisthasana feet - easy variation heel to toe

Easy Vasisthasana feet – heel to toe variation

As Om Panther demonstrates, you now have a much more stable base so you can concentrate on getting the upper part right – lifting the hip to provide a good, straight body, broadening and stabilizing the chest and shoulderblades and stacking them over the standing arm:

  1. Easy Vasithasana Feet - Om Panther

    Om Panther shows an “easy on the paws” side plank

Another Easy Vasisthasana foot variation: One of my easy variations on this is to make a “V” with the big and second toes of one foot, then slotting the “V”  over the skinny part above the heel of the other foot, before tipping the whole “arrangement” over to one side:

Easy Vasisthasana Feet Version 2 - V-feet

Easy Vasisthasana Feet Version 2 – “V” the big toe

Easy Vasisthasana Feet - Version 2 - final position

Easy Vasisthasana feet, Version 2 – aaaah! That was easy!

Of course, there are other variations involving dropping one knee to the mat – but try this one to help build a stronger core as you progress.

YoGanesh offers easy-does-it Beginner Basics classes, and we pride ourselves on personal attention, no matter what your level.  Looking forward to seeing more Ganeshers in class!

Lynette ChiangLynette Chiang (aka GalfromdownunderYoga) is a certified Vinyasa yoga teacher at YoGanesh.

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  1. […] that’s just what I do naturally in side plank. However, it should also work just as well with this foot variation. And while I suspect it would be trickier to manage with either of the knees down variations of […]

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