How to do Inclined Plane Posture, Vasisthasana: Strengthening Yoga Arm Balance
Vasisthasana – Inclined Plane Posture strengthens the wrists, arms shoulders and abdomen. The final stage also limbers the legs. You are likely to have all the strength you need to achieve the posture. Tap into the power of your mind to hold the Vasisthasana pose steady.
1. Perform downward facing dog pose. Turn the heel of right foot out and lay the outer edge of the foot down along the floor in a direct line back from the right hand. Take the left foot to the floor in front.
2. Let your body weight move forward toward your right hand as you transfer your weight onto it. To be able to lower the hips to have the body in one straight line, you’re right shoulder needs to be exactly above your right wrist, so, if necessary, return to downward facing dog pose and shorten or lengthen the distance between the hands and feet.
3. Place your left foot on top of the right foot and extend away through both heels. Turn the trunk to the left has you reach the left hand toward the sky. Don’t sag the hips down – use your abdominal muscles to keep the whole body straight. Turn the head to look up at the left hand. Secure the balance and stay in this position for 5 to 10 breaths.
4. Bend the top knee forward towards the chest and catch the big toe with the index and middle finger of the left hand. Straighten the arm and leg upward. If you can balance, turn the head and gaze at the big toe. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths.
5. Exhale, lower the raised leg, release the toe and replace the right hand, then the feet back to stretch for a few breaths in downward facing dog pose. Repeat the Inclined Plane Posture on the other side.
Gaze: top hand
- Bend the lower knee and rest that knee and shin on the floor, toes pointing back.
- Balance on the lower forearm rather than on the hand
- Have the sole of the lower foot against a wall
- Do not go to the final stage
Inclined Plane Posture, Vasisthasana Counter Poses
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.