Obviously as a strong pose, side plank helps to build strength in the arms, wrists, core and legs. At the same time, it gives us a nice stretch down the side of our body and down the backs of our legs. Since it also helps to work on our sense of balance, it’s a great preparatory pose to build up strength and balance for arm balances.
Starting in plank pose, bring your feet together and shift the weight towards your heels. Spreading the fingers of your right palm, start to push your knuckles firmly into the mat. Your supporting hand should be stacked slightly in front of your shoulder, rather than directly underneath.
Start to roll to the outer edge of your right foot, keeping it flexed as you stack the left foot on top. Place your left arm onto your hip as you start to find your balance. Engage your core and feel your obliques, lifting the side of the body off the mat.
Once you feel balanced, start to reach the left arm towards the sky, keeping in line with the shoulder. Firm the triceps of both arms to find more strength and stability. Roll the shoulderblades away from the ears, lifting through the crown of the head.
To come out, lower the top hand to the floor, returning back to a plank as slowly and controlled as you can.
To Perfect this Pose
If your body looks like a hammock, with your torso sagging down to the ground, engage the obliques and imagine sending your hips to the sky. If you’re having trouble keeping even through both sides, you can drop the bottom knee to the floor as you work to build strength.
Hunching our shoulders doesn’t look comfortable, and it’s not great for our shoulder health. Push through the palm of the supporting hand, and imagine someone pulling your top hand to lift weight out of your shoulder. Strong legs also help to spread our bodyweight a little more evenly through our joints, so engage your inner thighs and glue your legs together.
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