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Vasiṣṭhāsana (Sanskrit: वसिष्ठासन). Utthita Vasiṣṭhāsana (उत्थित वसिष्ठासन), or Side Plank Pose, is a balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise.

Etymology and origins[edit]

The name comes from the Sanskrit वसिष्ठ Vasiṣṭha, a sage,[1] and Asana (आसन, āsana) meaning "posture" or "seat".[2] Utthita (उत्थित) means extended.[3]

The pose is not described in the medieval hatha yoga texts. It appears in the 20th century in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga of Pattabhi Jois.[4]


Camatkarasana, Wild Thing Pose, a modern posture between Side Plank and Upward-Facing Bow Pose

The pose is a balancing posture with the body, both legs, and both arms straight, the body on one side, and the upper leg and arm raised as high as possible;[5][6][7] the upper hand may grasp the foot, and the gaze may be directed to the upper hand.[1][3]


Camatkarasana or Wild Thing Pose moves the weight onto one foot and the hand on the same side, lifting the other elbow above the head, arm bend, and the other foot behind the knee, so the body faces the side and slightly upwards.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) [1966]. Light on Yoga. Schocken Books. pp. 309–311.
  2. ^ Sinha, S.C. (1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  3. ^ a b "Extended Side Plank | Utthita Vasiṣṭhāsana". Pocket Yoga. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  4. ^ Sjoman, Norman E. (1999) [1996]. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. pp. 100–101. ISBN 81-7017-389-2.
  5. ^ "Side Plank | Vasiṣṭhāsana". Pocket Yoga. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  6. ^ Ramaswami, Srivatsa (2001). Yoga for the Three Stages of Life: Developing Your Practice As an Art Form, a Physical Therapy, and a Guiding Philosophy. Simon and Schuster. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-59477-586-4.
  7. ^ Stickler, Jessica. "5 Ways to Practice Side Plank". Yoga International. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  8. ^ Copham, K. Mae (19 May 2016). "5 Downward Dog Variations To Tone Your Whole Body". Mind Body Green.
  9. ^ Buchanan, Jacqueline. "4 Variations for Downward-Facing Dog Pose". Do You Yoga. Retrieved 22 July 2019.