Move of The Week: Side Plank with Leg Extension

Side Plank (Vasisthasana) is a great pose for increasing balance and strength.  It strengthens the core-- especially the obliques, and it's beneficial for the shoulders and hips.  Make sure to do both sides and hold each side for a good 30 seconds while focusing on your breath! 

To perform Side Plank Pose:

1. Begin in High Plank.

2. While in Plank Pose keep the fingers spread wide, body lengthened, core engaged, shoulders pressing down the back and the legs reaching throughout the heels.

4. Place your left hand in the center of your mat and shift your body to balance on the outer edge of the left foot.  Reach your right arm up to the sky.

6. Stack the right foot on top of the left foot and keep the legs straight.

Note: As a beginner to this pose, one can lower the right knee and shin to the yoga mat while keeping the hips lifted.

7. Keep the hips lifted press hips forward, engaging the core.

8. .Shift gaze to the top hand and press down through the bottom index finger.

9.  For the leg extension, bend the right knee and grab the big toe with your 'peace fingers'.  Keep core engaged and hips pressing forward as you reach the top leg up to the sky.  Rotate externally through the hip socket. 

10. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.

11. Exhale and slowly return to Plank Pose, then move into Downward Facing Dog for a nice stretch.  .

12. Repeat the sequence on the opposite side.

13. After completing both sides rest in Child’s Pose.