Vishvamitrasana At The Wall

Vishvamitrasana at the Wall

Techniques for Proficient Preparation

sage visvamitra


There are many stops along the way to a peak posture, but without being empowered by effective steps and techniques to implement, you are left with untapped potential. Whether Vishvamitrasana at the wall is the final stop along the path for you or not, it literally flips the pose on its side so as to awaken the increased potential that exists within your body. Vishvamitrasana requires both strength and flexibility in the shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors. It also awakens the side body as you develop the height and mighty quality the pose possesses. In today’s video, Matt shares some impactful techniques and drills that support your ability to explore variations of Vishvamitrasana, including this option at the wall.

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Even though Vishvamitrasana at the wall may be considered preparation for the posture itself, it still requires a tremendous amount of flexibility and strength. The only way to accomplish this is to face what might arguably be more challenging: hanging out in the “trenches,” so to speak, that is, practicing foundational postures and drills with very specific techniques. The good news is that we don’t have to guess what to do. Matt lays out some very specific techniques and actions on a silver platter; it’s just up to us to take action. First, Matt outlines a Side Plank exercise, and then he demonstrates what actions to take in Side Angle preparation. What follows after that is a drill in Triangle Pose. Lastly, you’ll see how it all comes together in Vishvamitrasana at the wall.




Vishvamitrasana at the wall exposes where you need to strengthen and where you need to open. In the Side Plank variation from the video, you’re undoubtedly working on strengthening your side body. However, you are still bringing awareness to the openness of the chest and shoulders with the positioning that’s necessary to do the exercise effectively. The cue to bring the ribs towards the pelvis, and vice versa, multiplies your strength in that area.  Keeping that in mind, flexibility in the adductors and strength in the outer hips are crucial for the amount of adduction in the legs that is required. To this end, Side Angle preparation practically mimics the shape of Vishvamitrasana, and creating a facilitated stretch by pulling the feet towards one another increases the flexibility in your adductors. The placement of the top arm, which Matt demonstrates, also contributes to the openness that is a must in the upper body.

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In the 2nd variation, the key action that gets layered on is to lean forward. Even though more flexibility in the hamstrings is already required here, you are still working to develop their flexibility even further. Again, Matt encourages you to work at roughly 60%–70% of your end range. The act of leaning forward demands more of the hamstrings of the front leg, so continue to check in with what depth is appropriate. While you can begin to lean into the stretch sensation by going a bit deeper (once you’ve strengthened), doing so should never mean that you compromise strength and integrity. If you notice a laxity in some areas of your Splits, you can do things like curl your back toes under. This keeps the pelvis closed and maintains more activation in the hip flexors of your back leg.

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In Matt’s 200 & 300 hour training courses, he talks about the 4 elements and/or considerations of a peak posture, which include the following:

  1. Required Strength
  2. Required Flexibility
  3. Balance (weight shifting)
  4. Proprioception (knowing where your body is in space)

You can see that Matt carefully takes all of these elements into account in the techniques and actions explored within each posture and drill for Vishvamitrasana at the wall. The stops along the way are deliberate and specific. With all of this in mind, you can confidently step into any peak posture or its variation.  

Matt’s Splits Immersion begins this Saturday. In this immersion, Matt will be sharing a number of different anatomy-informed techniques that will help you to cultivate strength and flexibility in your inner thighs and hamstrings.  Beyond having proficiency in a posture, you’ll find proficiency in your preparation. 

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: June 2020 Immersion

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