full side plank and modifications

Full Side Plank With Modifications

STEP BY STEP VASHISTHASANA BREAKDOWN

FULL SIDE PLANK

pFULL SIDE PLANK & MODIFICATIONS: VASHISTHASANA

USING THE WALL AS A PROP

Full Side Plank (Vashisthasana) has many modification options and variations to help make it more accessible or more challenging. I personally love teaching this posture with a foot on the wall to increase stability and provide a frame of reference for shifting the weight out of the hand and into the foot. 

Some people avoid the use of props thinking that they are a “crutch.” For sure, they could be used as a way to avoid challenges if that is your intention, but they could also be used as a way to increase body awareness and help you develop techniques. Props are neither good nor bad; it’s just a matter of how and why you are using them. Is it that you want to avoid challenges, or that you want to face the challenge intelligently and appropriately?

In the video tutorial below, I show how to modify side plank by placing a foot on the wall. This reduces the required balance and will allow you to focus on the foundations of the posture, like the strength of your hand and wrist: press thumb and pinky fingers into the ground. You can focus on the foot on the wall: attempt to press the instep of your foot into the wall. Eventually, you will be able to place the whole foot on the ground which will give you strength and power to lift the hips up. Lastly, keep your shoulder externally rotating, as indicated in the video.

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

VITALITY: RIGOR & RELEASE

Get back to feeling energized and alive. 12 all levels vinyasa & meditation classes to increase your energy, focus & mental clarity

 

  • GET BACK TO FEELING ENERGIZED
  • ALL LEVELS VINYASA CLASSES
  • HIPS, TWISTS, HEART, SHOULDERS, NECK & CORE
  • GUIDED MEDITATIONS TO DE-STRESS, INCREASE FOCUS, & GAIN MENTAL CLARITY

Full Side Plank & Modifications • Vashisthasana At the Wall

This Side Plank tutorial footage is taken from the July 2021 Immersion, titled BALANCE

Full Side Plank Set Up

What I don’t discuss in this particular clip is how the setup of this posture is exactly like Wild Thing. This means your pelvis is more open toward the sky as opposed to the standard side plank where your feet are stacked. The spine is in a backbend as well, unlike the standard variation where the spine is neutral.

There are other alignments you could explore, but these will tend to give you the greatest access to the full side plank variation where you grab the top foot and extend the leg. If you want to practice the full class, be sure to check out class #9 of the July 2021 Immersion, called Balance

 

300 hour teacher training online

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

Master your skillset as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques. theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 Hour Certified
  • Learn Anatomy, Bio-mechanics, Asana Techniques
  • Expand Your Teaching Skills
  • Masterful Sequencing & Verbal Delivery
  • Learn Meditation and Breathwork Techniques 
  • Transformative Tools: Theming, Dharma Talks, Satsang 
  • Business, Branding, Marketing & Social Media Skills

Three Full Side Plank Modifications and Variations

  1. Foot on The Wall: Once you rise up to wild thing, place the back foot on the wall – push your weight toward the wall, even if it means both knees are bent. This is not only okay but an indication that you are doing it properly.
  2. Tree Pose: The next step is infinitely more challenging because it requires greater balance and flexibility. Take the foot off the wall, similar to tree pose but without placing the foot on your inner thigh (though that is also another variation). I suggest pushing your knee into your hand to get your hip flexors active. Hip flexor strength becomes key when you attempt to straighten the leg. Often the tension of the hamstrings is too much and people have to let go of the foot. If your hip flexors are strong and used to engaging in this position, then they can help out by keeping the top leg closer to your upper body, lessening the chances that you’ll have to let go of the foot when extending the leg up to the sky.
  3. Full Side Plank or “Extended Vashisthasana”: Pull your knee in as tight as possible in order to grab your foot. Either stay as a modification or begin to kick the foot to the sky, straightening the top leg. Pro tip: it’s helpful to keep the bottom weight baring leg bent while extending the top leg upward. 
Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

VITALITY: RIGOR & RELEASE

Get back to feeling energized and alive. twelve all levels vinyasa & meditation classes to increase your energy, focus & mental clarity

 

  • GET BACK TO FEELING ENERGIZED
  • ALL LEVELS VINYASA CLASSES
  • HIPS, TWISTS, HEART, SHOULDERS, NECK & CORE
  • GUIDED MEDITATIONS TO DESTRESS, INCREASE FOCUS, & GAIN MENTAL CLARITY

Can’t Straighten Your Legs?

This is normal and it really shouldn’t be your focus. This is an incredibly physically demanding posture that requires extreme flexibility. Even with slightly bent knees, the posture is still visually stunning, and I would argue it’s even more bio-mechanically sound because bent knees typically trigger more muscle engagement.

TOP RELEVANT RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Balance Immersion: 12 Classes focused on Balance (video above is taken from this immersion) 

2. Arm Balance Immersion: 12 Classes – 12 Arm Balances

MORE WAYS TO DEVELOP YOUR PRACTICE

  1. Live Immersions: 3 Classes Per Week
  2. 200 hour training: Get Certified
  3. 300 Hour Online Training: Get 500hr Certified
Arm Balances

ARM BALANCES

Learn 12+ Arm Balances while expanding your knowledge of the body and increasing your body awareness.  All Classes are 75 minutes and ALL levels appropriate 

  • Crow Pose, Side Crow, and Variations
  • Flying Pigeon, Koundenyasana 1 & 2
  • Titibasana, Bujaspidasana
  • Handstand, Forearmstand, and many more!

Continue Learning

deepen your yoga practice

deepen your yoga practice

DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?DEEPEN What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, this will deepen your practice? Of course you have. Every teacher training,...

read more
Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve Balance In Standing Poses Focal Points of the Feet BALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat and...

read more
Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

read more
full wheel shoulder alignment elbows in or out

full wheel shoulder alignment elbows in or out

FULL WHEEL POSE STOP HUGGING THE ELBOWS IN SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITYFULL WHEELFULL WHEEL POSE SHOULDER FLEXIBILITY,You may have noticed that full wheel pose is quite challenging, and you might think the issue is your back, core, or shoulder strength....

read more
full side plank and modifications

full side plank and modifications

Full Side Plank With Modifications STEP BY STEP VASHISTHASANA BREAKDOWNFULL SIDE PLANK pFULL SIDE PLANK & MODIFICATIONS: VASHISTHASANA USING THE WALL AS A PROP Full Side Plank (Vashisthasana) has many modification options and variations to help make it more...

read more
Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE How to Double Wrap the LegsEagle Pose GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE Why is it hard to double wrap the leg? Garudasana, known as Eagle Pose, is a challenging hip opener and hip strengthener. It's useful in developing balance, but for many people,...

read more

Newsletter

When You Subscribe You Will Get Instant Access To

  • The Technique Pack: 15 Yoga Pose Breakdowns
  • Exclusive Online Course Discounts
  • Exclusive Blogs and Videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Key To Arm Balances

The Key to arm Balances

Learn the secret to balancing on your hands

 

The Secret is Simple

Finding ease in arm balances can seem like a mystery and it can be frustrating to figure them out while struggling to breathe in positions that feel constricting. The secret to arm balances is simple, but it is not always easy to put into action. Picture a balance scale, the old-fashioned kind. When both sides are even, the scale is “balanced.” There is no difference between a balance scale and your body, but it’s visually harder to understand. The center of the scale is where your hand meets your wrists.

Let’s think about crow pose for a moment. You will see in the picture to the right (or below if you’re on mobile or a tablet) a red line to show you where the shaft of a balance scale would be. I call the hips and legs the “back side” of the pose, and the heart and head the “front side.” In order for the back and front side to be equal we must lean forward quite a bit. This presents a bit of fear for many yogis, and for a good reason! You could easily lean too far, too fast. This is why it’s important to build strength in your fingers and wrists. The primary muscles that stop the body from leaning too far are the flexors of the wrists and fingers. I call these muscles “The Breaks,” and much like driving any vehicle, you will not feel safe without them! For this reason alone it’s super important to strengthen the breaks so that you build trust in yourself. As your trust builds, you will be willing to lean forward more and more into the strength of your wrists.  In my Handstand Training video, I provide some of my top exercises for “the breaks.”

When most people first try to lean forward they actually tend to sink, softening the elbow joints and melting the shoulder blades toward each other. This will make the posture heavy and will actually make it harder to balance. To be sure you aren’t doing this, film yourself or better yet find a teacher or friend to support you with visual coaching.

yoga arm balance with goats
200 hour online teacher training certification

200 Hour Online Teacher Training

“The 200 Hour Online Teacher Training certification with Matt Giordano is hands down the most detailed, comprehensive, in-depth and effective training to learn how to teach yoga and deepen your own yoga practice”

October Livestream Yoga Classes

THE BREAKTHROUGH

ARM BALANCES & HIP OPENERS

Targeted Arm Balance & Hip Opening techniques

  • Awaken your upper body strength
  • Experience the “aha” moments in your hip opening practice
  • Uncover your range of motion and flexibility
  • Release low back tension through hip opening
  • 12 All Levels Live Asana Classes
  • Lifetime Unlimited Access to All
  • No recurring payments

yoga pose all 4's wrist strengthener

Step 1 - All Fours with a Block

First work with a block behind the forearms on all fours. To be clear this is a deep extension of the wrist, so be mindful. If you feel that your muscles are straining, back the block up an inch. The idea here is to grip the ground with your fingers which will activate the flexor muscles. Because the hand is in extension, the flexor muscles are elongated significantly, so gripping the ground could prove to be challenging.

chaturanga with block for wrist strength

Step 2: Chaturanga with a block

The next step is to work on lowering from plank to chaturanga with the block directly behind the forearm. I recommend only going down a few inches and trying to hold. You will notice that in my chaturanga and crow pose my elbows are only slightly bent. This will make it easier to stay lifted and light. The same is true for the fingers; keep gripping the ground! To Strengthen your wrist, I highly recommend Handstand Training

crow pose wrist strength and balance

Step 3: Crow Pose

Crow pose is significantly more challenging, so if this is new for you be sure to work with a teacher first (and a landing cushion would be an intelligent choice if you ask me). Apply the same action but go slower. Grip the ground and apply the breaks, then lean into that resistance. If you are more proficient in arm balances, you can try this in a posture like Ekapada Koundenyasana 2  or flying pigeon.

the best yoga teacher training for alignment

300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

Master your skillset as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

Avoiding Wrist Pain

Wrist pain is common when people first start their yoga practice or arm balance practice. That doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, but it probably means the muscles that surround the joint are not strong and probably not balanced. The wrists are not a muscle you can simply work really hard a few times and see positive results. More likely you will strain the muscles if you go that route. Instead spend small amounts of time practicing these exercises but do them often. This is how I train my own wrists and I have had much success with feeling good over the course of 12 plus years of practicing handstands and arm balances.

Thank you for reading and watching! if you have questions, comments or requests please share them here!

-Matt

Handstand Strength Training

Learn the techniques that make Handstand fun, easy, and accessible! This collection of the top 12 most effective exercises will make you rethink how you approach handstand and what is possible so you can finally build the proper strength and awareness it takes to hold a handstand.

Continue Learning

deepen your yoga practice

deepen your yoga practice

DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE, AND HOW TO DO IT?DEEPEN What Does it Mean to Deepen Your Yoga Practice?Have you ever seen a yoga event advertising, this will deepen your practice? Of course you have. Every teacher training,...

read more
Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve You Balance in Standing Postures

Improve Balance In Standing Poses Focal Points of the Feet BALANCEYou Might Be Missing These 3 Key Components in the FeetStanding balance postures can sometimes be a source of frustration in our physical yoga practice. We all have moments like this on the mat and...

read more
Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose tutorial for shoulder and core strength

Crow Pose Tutorial UPGRADE YOUR CROW POSE  SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR OPTIMIZING STRENGTHFULL WHEELCROW POSE TUTORIAL: FIND FULLNESS TO FIND STABILITYFinding fullness in our yoga practice usually starts with our connection to breath.  It’s not uncommon to take our time at...

read more
full wheel shoulder alignment elbows in or out

full wheel shoulder alignment elbows in or out

FULL WHEEL POSE STOP HUGGING THE ELBOWS IN SHOULDER ACTIONS FOR MAXIMUM FLEXIBILITYFULL WHEELFULL WHEEL POSE SHOULDER FLEXIBILITY,You may have noticed that full wheel pose is quite challenging, and you might think the issue is your back, core, or shoulder strength....

read more
full side plank and modifications

full side plank and modifications

Full Side Plank With Modifications STEP BY STEP VASHISTHASANA BREAKDOWNFULL SIDE PLANK pFULL SIDE PLANK & MODIFICATIONS: VASHISTHASANA USING THE WALL AS A PROP Full Side Plank (Vashisthasana) has many modification options and variations to help make it more...

read more
Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

Eagle Pose technique how to double wrap the legs

GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE How to Double Wrap the LegsEagle Pose GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE Why is it hard to double wrap the leg? Garudasana, known as Eagle Pose, is a challenging hip opener and hip strengthener. It's useful in developing balance, but for many people,...

read more

Livestream Class Packages

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

SHOULDER REVELATION

Strength•Mobility•Biomechanics

  • Increase strength and flexibility
  • Decrease risk of injury
  • Release shoulder tension
  • Learn anatomy and biomechanics
  • Access a wider range of postures
  • Stabilize the rotator cuff muscles
  • Learn binds, heart openers, and arm balances
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $98.00

Vinyasa and Meditation Yoga Immersion

VITALITY

RIGOR & RELEASE

  • Get back to feeling energized
  • Vinyasa-style approach, accessible to everyone
  • Hips, twists, heart openers, shoulders, core, & more
  • Guided meditations to de-stress, increase focus, and gain mental & emotional clarity
  • Strengthen and lengthen the most essential muscle groups
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $98.00

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

BALANCE

INCREASE & AWAKEN YOUR BALANCE

  • Learn over 12 balance postures
  • Muscle strength and reactive patterning
  • Increase proprioception and deliberate weight shifting
  • Tree, Standing Hand-to-Foot variations, Warrior III
  • Half Moon variations, Handstand, Side Plank, Headstand
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $128.00

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

Hips & Hamstrings

RECLAIM YOUR ELASTICITY

  • Learn over 12 hip openers
  • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
  • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
  • Pigeon, Eagle, Fire Log, Lizard
  • Lotus, Flying Pigeon, Splits, Straddle
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $148.00

Arm Balances Online Yoga Classes

ARM BALANCES

FREEDOM OF FLIGHT

  • Learn over 12 arm balances
  • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
  • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
  • Crow, Side Crow, Titibasana, Ashtavakrasana
  • Forearm Stand, Koundinyasana 1 & 2, Handstand
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $128.00

yoga backbend techniques: 12 classes

HEART OPENERS

DISCOVER THE JOY OF BACKBENDS

  • Learn over 12 backbends
  • Step-by-step instructionals in every practice
  • Techniques, biomechanics and alignment
  • Bow Pose, Camel, Dancer, Full Wheel
  • King Cobra, King Dancer, King Pigeon
  • 12 all-levels, 75-minute online classes
  • Lifetime unlimited access to all

$198.00 $148.00

Yoga Alignment and Flow

MOVE • BREATHE • RELEASE

YOGA • BREATHWORK • MEDITATION

  • YOGA: TRANSFORM YOUR BODY
  • BREATHWORK: REJUVENATE
  • MEDITATION: AWAKEN YOUR MIND
  • THE TRIFECTA OF YOGA
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $128.00

Yoga Alignment and Flow

THE DANCE

ALIGN • REFINE • FLOW

  • MOVEMENT TRANSFORMATION
  • ALIGNED TRANSITIONS
  • TARGETED STRENGTH
  • DEEP HIP OPENERS
  • 12 CLASSES: INTERMEDIATE

$298.00 $148.00

back health online yoga classes

THE PULSE

BALANCE • STRENGTH • FLEXIBILITY

  • SHOULDER STRENGTH
  • HEART OPENERS
  • HAMSTRINGS & BUTTOCKS
  • INNER THIGHS
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $128.00

2020 IMMERSIONS

back health online yoga classes

HIPS • HEART • HANDSTAND

  • HIP OPENERS
  • HEART OPENERS
  • HANDSTAND TECHNIQUES
  • BUILD COURAGE & STRENGTH
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $148.00

boundless freedom

  • SHOULDER & NECK RELEASE
  • SHOULDER BIOMECHANICS
  • BALANCED STRENGTH
  • INCREASE RANGE OF MOTION
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

$298.00 $128.00

BIRDS OF PARADISE

  • FLEXIBILITY OF INNER THIGHS
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • LEADS TO BIRDS OF PARADISE 
  • COMPARTMENTS OF THE MIND 

$298.00 $128.00 

BEST STARTER PACKAGE

  • 6 YOGA CLASSES
  • 2 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 6 PEAK POSTURES
  • 6 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

$148.00 $78.00

back health online yoga classes

THE SPINAL RESET

  • BACKBENDS & SIDE BENDS
  • TWISTS AND FORWARD FOLDS
  • SPINAL BIOMECHANICS
  • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

$298.00 $128.00

JOURNEY TO BLISS

  • PHYSICAL MEETS SPIRITUAL
  • EXPLORE THE KOSHAS
  • MIND-BODY TENSION RELEASE
  • FOUR GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • 12 YOGA CLASSES: ALL LEVELS

$198.00 $118.00

BACK, NECK, & SHOULDERS

  • 12 YOGA CLASSES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • LIFETIME ACCCESS TO ALL
  • 12 PEAK POSTURES
  • 12 YOGA SUTRA THEMES

$178.00 $128.00

October Livestream Yoga Classes

THE BREAKTHROUGH

  • HIP OPENERS
  • HIP BIOMECHANICS
  • EMPHASIS ON ARM BALANCES
  • 4 POST-CLASS MEDITATIONS
  • 12 CLASSES: ALL LEVELS  

$298.00 $128.00

JOURNEY TO THE HEART

  • FULL BODY RESET
  • INCREASE BALANCE
  • ARM BALANCES
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • ELEMENTALLY THEMED

$298.00 $118.00

KING PIGEON & HANUMAN

  • FLEXIBILITY OF HIPS
  • SHOULDER & SPINE MOBILITY
  • 4 GUIDED MEDITATIONS
  • 12 INTERMEDIATE CLASSES
  • HAMSTRING RANGE OF MOTION

$198.00 $128.00

Newsletter

When You Subscribe You Will Get Instant Access To

  • The Technique Pack: 15 Yoga Pose Breakdowns
  • Exclusive Online Course Discounts
  • Exclusive Blogs and Videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get in Contact

1 + 9 =

Pin It on Pinterest