The Yoga Pose Plank – (called sometimes High Chaturanga) and Side Plank Vasisthasana
The Plank Yoga posture is a good precursor to more challenging arm balances postures.
In the Plank pose the body is in a straight line from the ears, through the shoulders and hips, to the heels. The body should not arch or sag. During performing this posture the abdominal muscles are kept lifted throughout. If your body starts to shake, release the posture, relax for a moment and start to hold the Plank again.
Mostly the Plank targets the abdominals (muscles responsible for holding in the stomach and giving the appearance of a flat stomach), but it can be an excellent way to get a full body challenge. In order to do the Plank properly, there must be integration of all the core stabilization muscles, and the arms, as well as keeping the gluteus (large muscles which form the buttock) and legs active.
The Plank posture is a well-known exercise that can be seen in many exercise systems. It is one of the most popular exercises for developing core strength and stability. It strengthens muscles of the arms, shoulders and the spine, and strengthens the wrists.
This posture improves nervous balance and develops a sense of inner equilibrium and harmony. The Plank is a preparatory posture for more advanced and demanding poses in yoga classes having many benefits. It can be done even by a beginner; however in one health condition the Plank posture is strongly not recommended.
One reason not to do the Plank posture:
1) If you have a Carpal tunnel syndrome, do not attempt this posture.
(It is compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which may result in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers. The disease typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night).
Caution: Always check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns regarding the suitability of this posture for you. It is best to perform this yoga posture in presence of a qualified yoga teacher.
Issued in the interest of people practicing Hatha Yoga by Subodh Gupta, Yoga Expert based in London.
The Side Plank – (Vasisthasana)
This posture is dedicated to the sage Vasistha. In a Sanskrit language ‘Vasistha’ means ‘Most Excellent Sage’ and is the name of a sage in the yoga tradition.
The Side Plank is also called the One Arm Balance posture as it involves balancing on one arm and the side of one foot. To keep the posture balanced the torso and legs must be aligned at a 45-degree angle with the floor.
The full version of the Side Plank posture, where the top leg is raised perpendicular to the floor is very difficult for most beginners. The modified version with both legs kept together is suitable for all levels of students.
The Side Plank is a very powerful arm and wrist strengthener. Regular practice of this posture makes the leg muscles supple. It strengthens the shoulders, abdominal muscles, buttocks and tones the lower back. The back of the legs become stretched.
The Side Plank posture improves nervous balance and builds focus and concentration. By the practice of this posture stamina, determination and will-power are enhanced.
The Side Plank is a quite powerful and strengthening posture with lots of benefits to a practitioner. However, in some health conditions this posture is not recommended.
Three reasons not to do the Side Plank:
1) If you have injured your wrist do not practice this posture, until healed and discussed with your doctor.
2) In case of chronic or recent arm or shoulder injury avoid this posture.
3) If your ankle was injured you may reconsider before you attempt this posture.
Caution: Always check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns regarding the suitability of this posture for
you. It is best to perform this yoga posture in presence of a qualified yoga teacher.
Issued in public interest by Subodh Gupta Celebrity Yoga Instructor in Chelsea, Kensington London