parsva vasistasana – side plank or staff pose

how parsva vasistasa

Beginning on the right side, come into vasistasana, or side-plank, from plankasana (plank pose) by rolling onto your right hand and outer edge of your right foot. Those with wrist injuries or shoulder issues, consider coming onto your forearm instead while you continue to develop strength and stability. With your next inhale, lift your left knee as if to come through vrksasana (tree pose) in vasistasana, feeling the peak lift at the top of your inhale.

As you exhale, graze your left foot back behind your right knee and plant the ball of your left foot on the floor. Ground your energy into the earth through the sole of your right foot (pada bandha), ball of your left foot, and your right hand (hasta bandha). Draw in the rebound of energy from the earth, and focus your next inhale on lifting the right side of the body. Extend your tailbone further toward your right heel, anchoring your pelvis through the roots of your legs.

With this strong foundation, on your next exhale turn your left palm forward, extending it over your head. Roll your left tricep toward your face, allowing your left shoulder blade to “hug” you and your heart to soften into this hug. Search for bottom tips of both shoulder blades and press them toward your heart, lifting your thoracic spine toward the sky, and offer your heart to the divine wisdom of the universe. Continue to breathe as you become parsva vasistasana, staying anchored through your lower body, and flying through your upper body, allowing the glow of your liberated heart to send a smile across your face!

Here is a video demo for parsva vasistasa:


Through my teaching, I work to create a space for exploring safely and joyfully the connection to the Divine. It begins within. When in harmony with ourselves, the union of Shiva and Shakti energies within, loving ourselves—and ultimately others—becomes natural and easy. So we flow in grace, and nurture ourselves with such compassion that we discover we have an unbounded amount of it to give to everyone else. We laugh and play and remember the things that tickle us. We find untapped strength and inspiration for that potent, creative force that lives in us all to fill every cell, every nuance and every space with such radiance that it becomes impossible to ignore, and we simply become that, manifested and vibrating now.


In parsva vasistasana it is both the powerful foundation and the flowing expansion that inspire me. We get to meld both giving and receiving, Shiva and Shakti, and the linear and curving movements of life. In our expression through this asana, the curvilinear action fuses the grounding quality of Shakti, with strong stability through the legs, pelvis and lumbar spine, and the freedom flow of Shiva, allowing for a beautiful heart-opening cascade through the upper thoracic and cervical spine. We come to an open surrender, gracefully expanding into our dharmic connection and our truest and deepest expression: love unbounded. Being truly guided from your heart, and your connection to the prana-shakti, your strong-rooted foundation allows you to unfold into this beautiful, stimulating, and soothing pose. Not pushing from your ego, your heart expands from its deepest layers—from the truth of your own divinity. You are abundant, you are love manifested, you are that. 

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