The Zamasana for the month of June is Vasisthasana, better known as Side Plank. Building a strong core is very important for preventing back pain and supporting your body in everyday life. Planks strengthen your arms, wrists and legs and improve overall balance and concentration (must..focus..). Side planking has a few extra benefits, like improving scoliosis, and trains your side muscles, creating greater stability.
Here are the steps to practice side plank:
- Put your supporting hand directly below the shoulder; straighten the arm by engaging the triceps and pressing the grounded palm into the mat. Make sure to press the index and thumb finger flat into your mat. Keep the alignment straight so you don’t hyperextend the arm. A microbend in the elbow can help.
- Contract your shoulder and lower abdominal muscles against the back torso and engage the entire core.
- Use your thighs to lift the hips up and away from the mat.
- Pull your body into one long diagonal line extending from the crown to the heel of the grounded foot.
- While keeping your head and neck in a neutral position, or gazing up towards the sky, you can extend the top arm, keeping the hand directly above the shoulder.
- Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths. Make sure to breathe and if you can’t, try measuring the distance between the right hand and right foot and step the left foot halfway up the mat and turn the toes out to the right to help support the pose. Perform this variation until you are performing a comfortable full side plank variation. You may also lower the bottom knee to the floor for additional support if you find it difficult to lengthen both legs.
Enjoy Vasisthasana in June!