Side Plank – Vasisthasana (Lateral Inclined Plane Pose)

Side Plank - Vasisthasana (Lateral Inclined Plane Pose, or Sage Vasistha’s pose) - Sharp Muscle
12 min read
Updated: April 3, 2023

The Side Plank Pose, also known as Vasisthasana, or Lateral Inclined Plane Pose, is a challenging and powerful arm balance yoga pose that builds strengthens in the wrist while incorporating the abdomen, legs, and arms and increase balance.

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When you practice this yoga pose, your mind remains calm and relaxed. But when you are de-stressing, your arms and shoulders are creating strength through this yoga pose. This yoga posture is also called one arm balance pose.

This powerful yoga pose also helps you develop inner strength. While doing this yoga pose, remember to align your body perfectly. Keep the feet on top of each other. When you use the support of the wall to practice this yoga pose, you will be able to understand how the body weight is distributed while staying in Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana.


The name Vasisthasana came from the Sanskrit name of two words — Vasistha + Asana:

  • Vasistha” = “wealthy, or most excellent, or best”
  • Asana” = “pose or posture”

This word means spiritual contentment that those on the path of yogic can attain. The word “Vasistha” appears as the name of many sages in the Yoga tradition. This asana honors all Vasistha sages including an array of rishis (sages) and Prajapatis (lord of the creation).

Vasistha was one of the most revered saints among the Saptarishis (seven seers) and also one of the chief authors of the Mandala 7. In a story by Vasistha, he was the proud owner of a famous wish-granting cow named Nandini which helped Vasishta gain vast wealth. Although the Sanskrit translation of this asana is “Sage Vasistha’s pose”, the common translation of this asana is “Side Plank Pose”. Thus, this yoga asana is sometimes referred to as the “Sage Pose”. It is the powerhouse of health, and hence, it is named after Vasistha.


Also known as:Lateral Inclined Plane Pose, Side Plank Pose, Vasisthasana, Lateral Inclined Plank Pose, Sage Vasistha’s Pose, One Arm Balancing Pose
Sanskrit name:वसिष्ठासन
Type:Arm Balancing
Total time:30 to 60 seconds
Drishti:Up toward raised hand;
Down at bottom hand
Chakra:Manipura Chakra
Counterpose:Balasana, Parighasana, Janu sirsasana
Preparatory poses:Downward Dog Pose, Half Moon Pose, Plank Pose, Wide Stance Forward Bend Pose, Reclining Hand to Big Toe pose (Supine Hand to Toe pose), Reclined Hero Pose
Follow-up poses:Extended Side Angle Pose, Extended triangle pose, Downward-Facing Tree Pose (Handstand), Downward-facing Dog Pose, Low Plank Pose (Four-Limbed Staff pose), Dolphin Plank Pose (Forearm Plank Pose), Headstand, Warrior 2
Indications:Concentration, balance
Contraindications:Elbow, shoulder, or wrist injury, Tendonitis, Carpal tunnel syndrome

Benefits of Side Plank – Vasisthasana (Lateral Inclined Plane Pose)

Unlike many arm balance yoga poses, Side Plank – Vasisthasana (Lateral Inclined Plane Pose) is a side arm balance pose and comes with some benefits in addition to preparing the body for a more challenging arm balance pose. Given below are physical and mental benefits:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Strengthens the legs, arms, shoulders, and wrists
    • Lengthens the spine
    • Improves balance
    • Builds core strength
    • Stretches the wrists
  2. Mental Benefits:
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Side Plank – Vasisthasana (Lateral Inclined Plane Pose) Practice Guide

There are three main foci or stories in Vasisthasana: He is holding the body, the lower side leg, and pelvic. Each balance interacts with the other. The hand connects through the shoulder wrist, elbow, and upper arm. It ultimately connects with your thorax through the contraction of the serratus anterior. It wraps around the chest from the muscle scapula and helps to stabilize the shoulder blade against the chest wall.

In addition to stabilizing the shoulder, the use of serratus anterior can be used to expand the ribcage, which can be made a subsidiary muscle of breathing. If this important muscle is contracted, how it feels important muscles, use Side Plank (Vasisthasana) to be aware. Then apply this awareness to expand the chest while breathing in another posture. This is an example of muscle awareness with yoga.

On the lower part of the foot, peroneus longus and brevis evert the foot on the ankle. The inclination in the ankle inclined inclination brings the exterior side of the foot firmly to the floor, which stabilizes the foot. Although the lower side arm and feet raises the body, but if the muscles are not included in favor of the pelvic then it will not be enough. Since the foot is decided on the mat, which activates the muscles, who abduct the foot, which makes a force that raises the pelvic. This is an example of closed series contraction, in which muscle insertion remains fixed and the original move (in this case, pelvic lifts).

In the subplot of the currency, it involves pressing the hand on the upper side of the body and try to pull it back. This latissimus dorsi engage in a closed series fashion, opens the chest. Activate the quadrilateral to raise kneecaps and straighten the legs. Contract adductor muscles to squeeze kneecaps and straighten the feet. Contract hardcore muscles to squeeze knees together. Forcing stomach to get stability in pause.

Step-by-step Side Plank (Lateral Inclined Plane Pose)

  1. Start in a Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Stand on the hands and knees with your shoulders directly above the hands and your hips above the knees. Press the hips straight up until both legs and arms are straight. Let the neck continue the straight line of your back from hips to head, breathe deeply and slowly.
  2. Transition into the Plank Pose: Lower the hips until the body is straight from head to heels. Set the feet together until the big toes touch. Flex the feet, sending the heels down away from the body.
  3. Shift the right palm slightly to the left, until it is beneath where the center the body was. Keep the left fingers on the ground to help you balance.
  4. Shift the weight onto the outside of the right foot and slowly turn the body to the right. Stack the left foot atop the right foot.
  5. Tuck the pelvis and on an inhale, open the chest as you raise your left arm. You can stop with the hand on the waist, or you can continue the stretch until the arm is pointing straight toward the sky. Keep the head and neck on a straight line with the rest of your spine; do not drop your head on the shoulder. Your head will be in line with the heart and the pelvis and the body will be a straight diagonal line from the crown of your head all the way to the feet.
  6. After a couple breaths, breath out, and lower your left arm as you roll the straight body back into a plank position and plant your arms shoulder width apart. Raise the hips to return to Downward-Facing Dog Pose and rest there, breathing deeply and steadily.
  7. Repeat this whole process with other side.
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Step-by-step Anatomy Engaging Techniques


  • Keep the hand on the floor, pronating your forearm and spread weight across your palm.
  • Grip your fingers to activate Palmar arch.
  • Your Pronators Teres and Quadratus turn your hand downward and press the inner surface of your hand into the floor.
  • Flex the wrist by pressing the mounds at the base of your fingers into the mat to engage your flexors carpi radialis ulnaris and stabilize your wrist.
  • Contract your triceps to extend your elbow.Your long head of triceps muscle Its origin on your scapula; Consequently, engaging it contributes stability to your shoulder.
  • If your elbow hyperextends, then try to bend it by co-contracting your biceps; It aligns your upper and lower hand bones.
  • Activate Serratus anterior to abduct your scapula away from the midline by pressing down from your shoulder through your hand.
  • Keep your arm perpendicular to the floor, so that the force of gravity (mechanical axis) align with your long creative axes of bones.


  • Activate your lateral deltoid to raise your torso and abduct your shoulder.
  • Your supraspinatus of your rotator cuff starts this action and helps to stabilize your head of humerus in the socket.
  • Slightly externally rotate your shoulder and elbow with your infraspinatus, teres minor, and posterior portion of the deltoid.
  • By engaging the rhomboids on that side, draw your uper-side scapula towards the midline. It expands your chest forward.
  • Engage your triceps of the arm on the upper side to straighten your elbow.


Press your hand into the side of your thigh (adduction) by engaging your pectoralis and teres major muscles. It also raises your chest. Prior to going to pose, to get a sense of what it’s like to have your pectoralis major contract, press your hands on your behalf. Feel the muscles by keeping your second hand on your chest.


Engage your quadriceps to extend your knees. Visualize your gluteus minimus contraction to stabilize the ball of your hip in the socket. Activate your psoas to balance the extension force of your gluteus maximus and prevent swayback.


  • Press the side of your foot into the floor, straighten it and dorsiflex your ankle back so that your foot forms a right angle with your tibia.
  • Your peroneus longus and brevis muscles turn your foot upside down.Your extensor digitorum longus coordinates this and draw your toes up.
  • Activate your tibialis anterior on the front of your lower leg to dorsiflex your foot.
  • Contract your gluteus medius and tensor fascia lata to lift your pelvis at the by pressing the side of your hips into the floor.
  • The force of this action is transmitted to move your trunk upwards and stabilize it there.


Engage your back extensors, including your erector spinae and quadratus lumborum. Your lower side engages relatively more forcefully to lift your trunk and prevent sagging. Contract your gluteus maximus to extend your hips and stabilize your pelvis. The cue for this is to keep your tailbone down.

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Modifying Side Plank – Vasisthasana

1. Using chair

  • When planing the side, support the chair to give comfort to your side body.
  • This makes this yoga pose easier and requires less strength.

2. Using ball

  • You can also use a ball instead of a chair.
  • Roll the ball with a plank posture, rest the side on it.

3. Yoga strap

  • If holding the toes in the side plank is bothering you, tie a strap around your protruding big toe.
  • You can then hold the strap to stretch your arm as well as pull your leg up.

4. Against the wall

  • Beginners find the best support to a wall.
  • Perform a Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana near a wall, as you roll to one side and press the back and heel towards the wall.
  • This adds support for holding the pose.

5 variations of Side Plank

1. Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana Twist

  • From the standing position, bend your left knee to place your left foot on the floor.
  • Your legs are crossed so that your left leg is next to your right thigh and your right leg is placed directly in your vest.
  • Raise your left arm up and move the gaze towards your raised hand.

2. Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana Variation Tree Leg

  • After keeping your left foot to your right, place your left foot on top of your right thigh.
  • Raise your left arm towards the ceiling and look at the left hand.

3. Forearm Side Plank Pose

  • Start with the Forearm Plank Pose, take your right forearm and keep it parallel to the front edge of the mat.
  • Tie your left foot to the floor from the outer edge of your right foot to the right.
  • Raise your left arm off the floor and extend it towards the ceiling opening your chest to the left.

4. Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana Variation Raised The Leg

  • Straighten your left leg with your toes on the floor from the tabletop position.
  • Bring your left hand to your hip.
  • Raise your right foot off the floor while balancing on your right hand and slowly straighten your knee.
  • Spread your right leg forward and your right hand to the ceiling.

5. Vasisthasana Crunch

  • From the Side Plank Pose or Vasisthasana with your left leg over the right, lift your left leg and bend your knee.
  • Rest your left elbow on the left knee with a forearm extended upward.

Precautions and contraindications

Some precautions are to keep in mind with the practice of Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana, which are given below:

1. Injuries

Individuals with injuries to the wrist, elbow, shoulders, neck, hips, back, knees, or ankles should avoid the practice of this yoga pose. Any injury to the muscles of the legs, back, arms, and Individuals should avoid it.

2. Surgeries

Individuals recovering from abdominal surgery, or surgeries of any other nature, should be cautious and informed to the teacher/instructor and refrain from practicing Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana. Unless advised by doctors, it should be done under the guidance of a yoga teacher/instructor.

3. Shoulder or herniated disc or rheumatoid arthritis issues

Since this yoga asana puts pressure on the waist and upper body of the shoulder, chest, rib cage, shoulder or herniated disc, or issues associated with rheumatoid arthritis are all contraindications and should be avoided until full recovery.

4. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis problems

Issues of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, etc. should be taken seriously and the practice of this yoga pose should be avoided.

5. Pregnant women

Pregnant women practicing Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana should do so with proper care and use a block for the arm to provide better support and balance.

6. Body control and breathing

Care should be taken by individuals who have yet to take control of their bodies and learn to balance with awareness. Initial practice under such cases can be done with the support of the wall.

Body control, breath awareness, core stability, hip stability, knowing how to change chest breathing from abdominal breathing to chest breathing while getting into the asana and getting out, to get the best from this amazing arm balance posture All are important. Therefore, individuals should be take care this while practicing Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana for their benefit.

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