Vasisthasana is the one-arm side balance. Come into downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Place the right hand at the mid-line of the body (halfway to the left hand and in line with it) and the outside of the right foot on the floor. Lift the left hand off the floor and place it on the left hip, as you place the left foot over the right foot and turn the body to face sideways. Stack the ankles, hips, and shoulders. Stretch actively through the feet and lengthen the front of the body from the pubis to the sternum. Keep the head in line with the spine. Extend the left arm up perpendicular to the floor and press down through the right hand, lengthening up through the right arm. Lift the right hip up, so it does not sag down (SEE FIGURE 14-23). Stay for several breaths and then come back into downward-facing dog, bend the knees, and come down. Rest, and then repeat on the other side.

FIGURE 14-23: Vasisthasana

FIGURE 14-24: Vasisthasana with upper leg bent in front of lower leg

You can also try placing the feet against the wall for additional support and help with alignment. Or, instead of bringing the upper leg on top of the lower leg, place the upper leg in front of the lower leg. Bend the leg and ground the foot onto the floor. Press through both feet (SEE FIGURE 14-24). The benefits of Vasisthasana include the following:

  • It develops coordination.

  • It strengthens the wrists.

  • It tones the lower spine.

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