Challenging the mind and body to build strength takes practice, focus and patience. Yoga requires consistent patience to feel and see results over time. In many cases, people in any body building and streamlining programs will feel and see gradual changes over time. Yoga is a new beginning on a renewal path to cleanse and replenish the mind and body as you become stronger and more disciplined to accomplish your goal. When you practice yoga with intensity, you are in full concentration and all worldly concerns disappear!
“Reality” is in our mind and involves the acceptance of constant change as the individual learns to flow with and stay positive during all circumstances. This is not an easy task but yoga is a guiding force. There are no quick solutions in today’s world, but yoga provides a learning opportunity on intense focus to achieve success while streaming realistic daily goals. Yoga is a process of growth that includes many facets of mind and body working in concert to improve fitness and calmness with visible results. The key to reaching a state of mental and physical balance to achieve this goal is to remain centered, working to manifest your visualizing in small increments.
“Side Plank Pose” is a challenging streamline posture, thus, it is good to learn it in realistic phases. Full side plank on one side is a balance and strength pose in which the entire body is aligned on one side engaging muscles of the arms, chest, upper back, abdominals and legs while holding steady for three to five breaths on each side.
“Modified Side Plank” begins by sitting on the ground or floor then extending both legs together on one side nice and long while balancing one grounded arm and the other one raised to the sky. The challenge of Side Plank is to keep a straight line as your lift and hold the pose. You can keep the bottom knee bent at first, while the other leg is straight and long. Keep the supporting arm and hand under the shoulder as you concentrate on balancing the body. You can also cross one leg bent at the knee over the outstretched leg, leaving one hand long on the ground and the other one stretched upwards.
An even greater challenge, as in all yoga poses, is to take your mat outside and practice in nature. Often times the ground is uneven, as you can see in this picture, as the old tree is lying to rest as it fell and the ground disturbed. Thus, adapt! It requires mental focus, alignment and balance to stay centered on an uneven turf. This Side Plank variation strengthens the entire side of the body as you work on total alignment; it is tricky and challenging.
The next phase of the Modified Side Plank is to raise the outside leg and hold it parallel on top of the other one that is grounded. To improve balance, back up into a solid surface and shift your weight until you feel solid. Using a nearby tree as a wall can provide you with a helpful prop as you straighten alignment. Using a prop can be helpful, if you do not become dependent on it for a long period of time. In yoga, props are great in the beginning with the focus on building trust in your own body alignment and strength.
As you eventually come into a full side plank, the legs are extended together and one leg is raised with the free arm extending to the sky. Now, you will feel total alignment without any props. Remember, yoga can be practiced anywhere with great enjoyment. Discover another dimension when you incorporate Mother Earth into your yoga practice. Enjoy, breathe and renew!