Vasisthasana is a simple pose, yet a challenging one. It strongly works the obliques, the glutes, and the shoulders. The pose is usually entered into on a single inhale, but feel free to slow things down if you need to.
Begin in Plank Pose. Roll over onto the outside of the right foot. As you continue to move into the pose, roll the hips open to the side of the mat and place the left foot on top of the right. Reach the left arm out from the shoulder up toward the ceiling with the palm facing the left side of the mat. Press the entire right hand into the mat to lift up out of the shoulder. Firm the shoulder blades against the back and tuck the tailbone. Firm the thighs and engage the core strongly to stabilize the pose. The gaze can be either out to the side or looking up toward the extended hand. If you find yourself struggling to keep the hips lifted here, as a beginning variation you can bend the right leg and place the knee on the floor underneath the hips for support.
From here you have a couple of options, you can stay in the pose and work to create a straight line from toes through the crown of the head, you can press through the right hand to lift the hips up toward the height of the shoulders (see above picture), you can bring the left foot into a tree position, and finally you can bend the left leg to take the left toe with your index and middle finger and extend the leg (this is the traditional Vasisthasana as described by Iyengar). Hold for as long as feels beneficial, then switch sides.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!