Monday, April 26, 2010

Side Plank, Vasisthasana

Side Plank

Vasisthasana = “best, most excellent posture”

Vasisthansana or “Side Plank Pose” is a very rich core exercise indeed. As summer approaches and we want to look our “bikini” best, time to add Side Plank to your routine.

Most summer athletic sports require a strong core and flexible side waist. Think, reaching for a football pass, keeping your balance on your mtn. bike while ripping up a tricky trail, or max length for free style swim. Side Plank will strengthen your Serratius (deep side muscles) and Latissimus Dorsi (the big group of outer corset muscles that span from your shoulder blades and wrap around your side waist to pelvic region). This pose will also strengthen wrists/shoulders and arms and legs, while creating flexibility in your hips. I will give modifications for those with injury in the arms.

Let’s Play
1. Start in Down Dog and tune into your breath. Once your breath is steady and engaged, then start your practice. This will help you stay focused.
2. Roll forward to Plank Pose
3. Move your right hand underneath your nose on the mat, and spread your fingers wide like a pancake. IF you have injury in any part of your arm, please drop your bottom knee on the floor to support your body weight from here on out.
4. Carefully roll to the side, opening hips and stack your feet on top of each other, lifting the hips as high as you can, reaching the left hand straight up to the ceiling.
5. If you are feeling fresh, lift your top leg a few inches off the other while lifting hips. This will increase your balance and strength practice.
6. Hold Side Plank for 5-10 breaths and repeat on opposite side.
7. Rest in Child’s pose with hands by hips for 10 breaths before moving into the rest of your practice.

1. Drop bottom knee to the floor, and keep it there.
2. Rest on forearm for side plank instead of wrists, to protect injured parts.
3. Engage your core, and lift kneecaps for max focus on strength. Stay like a board, not sagging in the hips, shoulders, etc.

Side Plank is one of my favourite poses to build the core strength and awareness for more complex poses and inversions. I am available for private Yoga coaching at Seattle Athletic Club, or privately if you have any questions about this pose or want to enrich your on going practice!!

Tonja Hall
Lionheart Yoga Training

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Welcome to Lionheart Yoga Training Blog

Hi! My name is Tonja Renee Hall and welcome to Lionheart Yoga Training Blog. I am a yoga coach in Seattle and Internationally, and this blog will focus on yoga training tips for athletes of all kinds, to keep you at your competitive best. I am the founder of Lionheart Yoga Training which is a yoga program tailored to meet the specific needs of athletes. I use techniques from my 10 years experience as a Vinyasa Power yoga instructor, Thai Yoga stretching and sport visualization to create a unique and energizing yoga program for you or your team. I have yoga coached members of Cliff Bar and Luna Bar cycling teams, and currently coach the Seattle Sounders, fc and yoga for the Seattle SeaHawks pre-season as well as athletes of all kinds at Seattle Athletic Club.
I have found that players who practice yoga on a regular basis, especially Lionheart yoga, experience less injury, have increased flexibility, strength and greater ability to achieve their full potential on and off the field.
I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to write comments and ask questions that I will answer in a timely mannor.
Lionheart Yoga training can be reached on: or by visiting my website
What a great way to start your sports year off right with a training session with Lionheart Yoga!!