Side Plank Pose or Vasisthasana (VAH-shees-THAH-suh-nuh) is a powerful arm balance yoga posture and is a favorite pose for me to teach. I really get excited watching my students move their bodies into this pose. When you look at it, it looks like an impossible pose to hold. You’re literally balancing on one hand and on the edge of one foot. Think about the control, power, and strength needed to be in a pose like this. It also challenges your ability to stay calm and focused. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word “Vasistha,” which literally means, “most excellent” or “best.” I really like that translation and will often share the meaning of the pose with my students.
I encourage my students to do their best when they are moving through my Power Vinyasa Yoga classes. I’m not concerned if they hit a pose perfectly or hold Tree Pose without quivering. It’s about doing your best...making an effort and perhaps challenging yourself. The idea is that we are all faced with challenges in our daily lives. If we run and hide from them, we will never learn how to move through them. If we step into the fire, yes, we will probably get burned. We get hurt and those feelings don’t always feel good. But, I like to see the other side of the situation. On the other side of the uncomfortable circumstance there is often feelings of accomplishment, achievement, joy, appreciation, and gratitude. A feeling of success that you were able to walk through the pain. A pose like Side Plank can help highlight that fact. Celebrate the star within you; your inner celebrity! Acknowledge that you were able to come out of the dark side and now shine in the light. To bring that point home in this yoga pose, I challenge the student to lift their top leg. When they do, they form the shape of a star; their points shooting out in all directions.
What do you have to celebrate this week? What obstacle have you overcome? How are you shining today?