Side Plank Yoga Flow to Strengthen + Tone
Alright yoga community, this flow is the absolute jam for anyone seeking strength, challenge, and toning of the body. Welcome to your weekly yoga video –
Side Plank Flow
….. or in proper yogic terms, your vasisthasana flow.
For those of you who are subscribed to the tribe, you’re well aware that this month’s focus is arm balances, and this is where side plank might seem like it doesn’t fit. But trust me, it does, and here’s why.
The first obvious reason being that in side plank pose, we are balancing on one arm, so there’s that. But there’s also the congruencies that the pose requires strength, balance, and confidence.
These three elements show up in every arm balance posture we create.
Are you feeling me now on this side plank, arm balance thing yet?
See, I came to this realization after practicing alongside Jason Crandell (online, I wish it was in the flesh), where he taught a “beginner” arm balance flow. His postures included side plank (lightbulb moment), crow pose, and side crow. His sequencing was so damn intelligent and felt so good in my body, that it left me a believer.
Side plank pose is an arm balance.
Now, let me check in.
At this point, you’re probably thinking one of two things. Thing one, this revelation is great, I can now work on strengthening, toning and doing an arm balance without falling on my face. Or thing two, I came here for the advanced, fancy arm balance postures and this is not one of them, peace out.
If you’re in thing one camp, woo, let’s do this.
And if you’re in thing two camp, stick around, maybe learn a new transition, fine tune a posture, or take a deeper variation, relax into your practice for today, no fancy postures needed.
Okay awesome, we’re all in this together now, but before we get to bending + breathing, let’s first learn more about today’s sequence. Below are the key highlights that I want to share and educate us further on.
Get out your pencils yogis, it’s time to learn.
We visit this series two times throughout the sequence, supine and standing, to help us experience a few things.
- hamstring stretch
- opens the adductors (our inner thighs, responsible for moving the legs together)
- calm, gentle easing into the practice (supine version)
- single-minded focus + balance (in the standing version)
*I recommend having a yoga strap nearby for this series.
Next up tribe, core work, everyone’s favorite moment in a yoga class.
For this sequence, we set the stage by doing core work early in the class to help warm the body, fire up our core, and support us along the way. Don’t worry, it’s a quick and dirty moment, nothing too unbearable!
*I recommend having a yoga block nearby for the core connector pose.
The Standing Series
And here we go, we’re now into the flow, hot and heavy, moving and grooving.
What I love about following Jason Crandell is how intelligent he is with the body and creating yoga sequences that matter. Here’s where his mastery comes into play.
The standing series consists of five key yoga postures – warrior II, side angle pose, triangle pose, half moon, and prasarita padottanasana – that each have a common thread.
- stretches + strengthens the legs
- generously opens the hips
- relies on the back leg to support us, much like our bottom leg in side plank pose does
Essentially, we’re priming the body for our peak posture – side plank – how cool is that!
Side Plank Series
Lastly, we reach our destination for today, side plank pose.
Woooh. Quite the ride, yeah.
For today’s yoga flow, we’ll cover four different variations of side plank pose to excite and challenge the beginner yogi to the advanced. Here’s what to expect:
- side plank pose
- side plank + tree pose variation
- side plank + leg extended (fancy variation)
- side plank feel so damn good variation
That’s the highlight reel of what we’ll do in today’s yoga flow. Now you know what to do….
Unroll your yoga mat, take a deep breath, hit that play button, and let’s flow!
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