Words and photos by Lynette Chiang
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:
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:
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:
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!