Increasing Agni in your Yoga Class: Side Plank Pose

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Increasing Agni in your Yoga Class: Side Plank Pose

how to become a certified yin yoga instructorBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

Springtime is upon us, and for many Yoga practitioners who live in areas that experience long winters, the increasing light and warmth of this season is very welcome. Just like the seasons in temperate climate zones, there are also different types of Yoga practices. Some practices are cooling, and other sequences of asanas are quite warming. For example, practices that are cooling and restorative are Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra. Practices that are quite warming are Ashtanga and Bikram Yoga. Both of these types of flowing sequences will help to stoke the inner fire or agni of your students.

Additionally, by choosing to incorporate asanas that are physically strengthening and vigorous in nature into your Yoga class, you will create a purifying and energizing experience for your students. During the increasing warmth of the spring and summer months, especially after a long, cold winter, your students may very much enjoy and benefit from a class that substantially increases their energy level, boosts their metabolism and invigorates their inner agni or fire. A vinyasa-based class, that includes a number of standing asanas, balancing postures and core strengthening exercises, will generate a cleansing and energizing experience for your Yoga students.

* Side Plank Pose or Vasisthasana

Side Plank Pose is a balancing asana that definitely generates more agni or inner fire. It is usually practiced towards the end of the standing poses. Side Plank Pose is very strengthening for the entire side of the body, arms, wrists and ankles. Side Plank Pose also strengthens the entire torso region and opens up the shoulders, upper back and throat areas. To practice Side Plank Pose, instruct your students to move through a vinyasa and pause in Downward Facing Dog.

From Downward Facing Dog, ask your Yoga students to keep their right hand on the mat while turning to the right. The right hand will remain in position with the fingers facing the front of the mat. The outer edge of the right foot should be flush against the mat with the inner edge of the left foot resting on top of the right foot. The legs should be perfectly lined up and the torso also kept in a straight line. The left arm is raised above the body and in line with the shoulders and the right arm. The left palm faces away from the body. Ask your Yoga students to hold Side Plank Pose for three to five complete breaths, and then release the posture and flow through a vinyasa or rest in Child’s Pose.

© Copyright 2013 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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