You’ve probably lost count of the number of times you’ve worked your side plank pose in class.  Because of the physical and psychological benefits of this pose, Side Plank makes its way into most of our classes.  Not only does it help to sculpt some serious oblique and shoulder muscles, it also encourages intense focus and stress relief.

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Side Plank Pose or Vasisthasana (vah-sish-TAHS-anna)

  • From high plank pose, walk your big toes into touch.
  • Place your left hand to the center of your mat or lower down to your left forearm, making it parallel with the front edge of your mat.
  • Inhale, reach your right arm toward the sky.
  • Position your right arm slightly forward.
  • Stack your right hip directly on top of your left hip, to square them.
  • Bring your gaze toward your top arm.
  • Press away from the Earth, to avoid sinking in your left shoulder and draw your right shoulder blade toward your left.
  • Pull your toes toward your shin and press away your heels away.
  • Bump your hips toward the sky to create a subtle rainbow effect in your body.
  • Tuck your tailbone and engage your abdominal wall.
  • Soften the muscles in your face and jaw.
  • Seal your lips to cultivate your ujjayi breath.
  • Hold and breathe for 8-10 rounds of breath.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Variation

  • For individuals with neck injuries, bring your gaze straight ahead rather than toward the sky.
  • For individuals with wrist injuries, lower down to your elbow and parallel your forearm to the front edge of your mat.
  • To provide additional support to your side plank, ground your top foot to create a kickstand.
  • For more advanced yogis, float your top arm over your top ear and reach your fingertips toward the front edge of your mat. Float your top leg away from your bottom leg and reengage your lower obliques.

Body

  • Strengthens wrists, core muscles, glutes, quadriceps arms and shoulders.
  • Improves stamina and balance.

Mind

  • Side Plank Pose encourages focus and mindfulness as it helps to build confidence and heat in the body.

Chakra

  • As you ignite the muscles in your abdominal wall and your spine, Side Plank Pose activates your third chakra, Manipura. This chakra is located at the navel, just above the solar plexus.  The lumbar spine (lower back), abdominal wall and internal organs (including liver, stomach, spleen, and pancreas) are key players in this chakra.  The color of this chakra is yellow and the essence of this chakra is fire.  “Activation of the Manipura Chakra frees one from negative energies and purifies and strengthens one’s vitality.”

Spirit

  • When we challenge our body on our mat and breathe with intention, this allows us to identify how we respond to stress off the mat. Notice what thoughts serve you best when practicing Side Plank pose.  Are you just waiting for it to be over or are you able to find peace in the moment?   Create awareness around your thought patterns, let go of what isn’t serving you and bring your attention to your breath.  Find peace and stillness within.

 

Namaste,

Coach Jentry

 

Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 12/5/16

5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens only class – Coach Briana – Chipper Monday

5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens only class – Coach Michelle – Chipper Monday

5:45AM Sunrise Walnut Creek Heather Farms Co-ED class – Coach Carrie – Chipper Monday

6AM Sunup Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Jentry – Chipper Monday

8:15AM Sunshine Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle & Coach Kristen – TRX Chipper

9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Briana – Chipper Monday

11:00AM Cytosport All Levels Cardio Kickboxing – Coach Michelle (private class) 

11:30AM Cytosport All Levels Trigger Point Rolling – Coach Michelle (private class) 

12:00PM Cytosport All Levels HIIT – Coach Carrie (private class) 

2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Michelle D. (private class)