When in doubt, side plank it out! This month, we’re stepping our regular side-planking skills up a notch with Extended Side Plank, or One Legged Side Plank Pose – Eka Pada Vasisthasana – as our zamasana for October.
We’re not gonna lie, this pose is a challenge – it’ll test your balance and arm strength as well as your flexibility, but there’s several stages to help you make your way into the full pose.
Begin in your regular Plank pose, ensuring your shoulders are above wrists. Widen shoulder blades and slide them down your back.
Move into Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana) – press weight into left arm and rotate upper body externally, spinning supporting (left) heel to the floor. Right leg stacks on top of left leg and right arm extends up to the sky.
Once stable here (pause for a few breaths), bend right knee while externally rotating right hip and catch the right big toe with your right hand.
At this point you may want to grab a strap to hold your foot, but if your flexibility allows it, begin straightening the right left, extending it high.
Once you feel secure and balanced in the pose, turn the gaze upwards. Keep the core engaged to remain strong in the pose.
To come out of the pose, inhale and on the exhale slowly return to regular Plank Pose, and then repeat on the other side.
If you can’t make your way into the full pose, you may instead like to practice lifting the top leg when in Side Plank Pose and holding for five breaths on each side. From there, practice bending the knee and catching the toe and keeping the pose strong and balanced while doing so.