Yoga Tutorial: Vasisthasana + Variations

Welcome yoga babes, so nice of you to stop by!

Before we get comfortable, I need to forewarn you – this side plank tutorial is for the yogi who wants to work, the yogi who likes to test their balance, the yogi who wants to build their core strength, the yogi who has patience and perseverance, and the yogi who wants to push past their limiting beliefs.

Is that you?

If so, nice to meet you.

And if it’s not you/you’re completely unsure, it’s also so nice to meet you.

Don’t worry – everyone is welcome here, always.

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

Are you wondering why I opened with that caution label….

Here’s the simple answer.

Vashisthasana is a powerful posture that requires integrative strength, focus, and courage. It’s not just your run of the mill yoga pose…. it’s more like your badass, make you feel like a super yogi posture.

And because Vashisthasana has these super yogi powers, it’s a pose that takes quite a bit of time and effort to learn and properly experience (keyword here – properly).

Journey Junkie Happenings:

My journey with side plank has been a mixture of love and confusion.

It started off great – the pose came fairly easy to my body, the balance was there, the strength was in process, and the focus was ironing itself out.

Fast forward six months, I loved coming into side plank pose, I always took the suggested variations – tree pose or leg lifted – and then I met the fullest expression of the pose… Vashisthasana B.

We didn’t get along.

I would’t even entertain the idea of speaking to the pose, let alone trying the pose.

…..I promise I have a point, just stick with me yogis.

Fast forward almost four years (that’s a lot of time and yoga practice), me and Vashistasana B can finally be in the same room together. We’ve gone on a few dates, some more serious than others, and now I can comfortably say – I like the pose.

Like, not love.

It’s a work in the progress, but I’m excited to take our relationship a step further.

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

I tell you all of this crazy side plank history for one reason – to remind you that it’s always a journey. Whether it’s handstand, headstand, or opening the hips – yoga is always a personal experience that will unfold differently for each person.

Please, be patient with this posture, it will be a great partner (in due time).

And with all of that out in the open, let’s get into it yogis.

Below is a breakdown of Vashistasana + all its awesome variations.

1. Vashistasana

(side plank pose)

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

The How-To:

  • Enter the pose from plank – bring one hand directly under the face and then roll to the outer edge of the foot (same foot and hand are connected to the ground).
  • Root down through your entire hand, active the arm, and lift up out of the wrist – you want to feel solid here!
  • The hand and wrist should be slightly in front of the shoulder – as seen in the photo above.
  • Reach up through the lifted hand, energize the fingertips, and align the shoulders with one another.
  • Flex through both feet, engage the legs and squeeze them in towards one another.
  • Lift the hips and roll them open towards the sky.
  • Gaze up at your fingertips (if it’s comfortable for the neck).

2. Vashistasana – Modified

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

The How To:

  • Practice this softer variation if the full expression isn’t in your practice yet.
  • Also – practice with the knee down if doing a more restorative practice.
  • Use a blanket under the knee for extra support, especially if you have a knee injury.

And with all of that out in the open, let’s get into it yogis.

3. Vashistasana + Variations

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

The How To:

  • Once you’re comfortable with the full expression, start to explore these variations.
  • For the tree pose, be cautious of where the foot is placed, make sure it’s not resting on the knee-joint. Notice how my toes are barely making contact with my knee…. be present and aware.
  • For the lifted leg variation, activate and energize the top leg and when you’re steady, begin to lift it directly into the air – think starfish here.
  • For both variations – the gaze can be wherever the neck is comfortable.

4. Vashistasana B

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

The How To:

*Before exploring this posture, please warm the body up with a few hip and hamstring stretches.

  • Bend the top leg and bring your peace fingers to the big toe.
  • As you straighten the leg, ground down through the planted foot by connecting the big toe into the mat.
  • Lift the hips and open them towards the sky and rotate the chest as the hips open – think of yourself as one moving machine.
  • Again – the gaze can lift if it’s comfortable for the neck.

Prep Postures

If the above postures just aren’t happening for ya… don’t stress it, it’s just a yoga pose!

Instead – work towards side plank by practicing the prep postures below.

1. Plank Pose

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

2. Forearm Plank

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

3. Extended Side Angle Pose

Vashistasana Breakdown - Pin now, practice later!

Pin now, practice later!

 

Yogis – you made it!

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey and exploring new postures within your body and practice. I applaud your courage to try something new!

And if this posture is old news to you, then thank you for showing up, seeking more refinement within your practice, and working towards a clearer outcome.

Let’s Talk – Do you regularly practice Vashistasana? Do you enjoy this posture or do you have that love/hate relationship like me? What do you find challenging about this posture? What tips and tricks do you have for others learning the pose?

As always – comments, suggestions, feedback, questions, or general yoga love, leave it down below.

Until next time – xoxo.


SHOP THE LOOK

Hey! I’m Allie.

I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.

I wanna learn it all!

The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.

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I wanna learn it all!

The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.