Challenging and beautiful, Vasisthasana is a pose that requires strength, concentration, and flexibility. There are many variations to this pose. Start slow. Build the foundation.
My sweetheart built the little cottage we live in and I can assure you, he built the foundation first. We cannot start building a home at the roof, first we have to build and stabilize the foundation, get the proper support beams, and only when everything else is in place, can we safely put on the roof.
Similarly in Yoga, it is very important to build a foundation, strengthen our bodies, understand proper alignment, and proper breathing. Only then should we attempt to move into the more advanced poses and variations of poses.
We always should listen to our bodies. Yoga is not a competition. Yoga is union. If we are challenging our body to the point where we are risking injury, we are not practicing Ahimsa which is one of the foundations of yoga. Ahimsa is the practice of nonviolence, non-harming, non-injury. This definitely includes ourselves, our bodies, our spirits, our asana practice.
There are times when my arms are fatigued, my core feels weak, my energy is low, and I choose to do a more gentle variation of Side Plank. Known as Supported Side Plank.
The Bottom knee is down, hips are aligned, shoulders aligned, core engaged. This is still a challenging pose with many benefits. Strengthens the core, the arms, the shoulders, the wrists, and requires a great deal of focus.
Then there is another, more challenging variation of the pose. Wait until you are comfortable in supported side plank before attempting this variation. ***Do not attempt in the case of wrist or shoulder injury***
Feet are stacked, hips are stacked, shoulders are stacked. Another variation is to have one foot slightly in front of the other. We need a solid foundation before attempting this pose. It requires proper alignment, core, shoulder, wrist and arm strength, and a tremendous amount of balance and focus in order to safely perform this asana (pose).
Moving to the full version of the pose, is very challenging on the body. Don’t rush it. Allow the yoga practice to evolve naturally. Our bodies and spirits will be grateful.
Whatever ‘side’ you woke up on, hope you have good day. ~Tiff
Photos by Diana Melo