How-To: Side Plank Pose

Side Plank Pose, VasisthasanaSide Plank Pose, Vasisthasana, is a powerful arm balance yoga pose. 
In this post I'll give you detailed instructions on how to perform it correctly, the common mistakes to avoid and a few variations you can experiment!

Side-plank-pose

I usually incorporate this pose to my practice because it’s great to strengthen your shoulders, arms and oblique muscles. It's known as one of the best core-strengthening pose and if you have ever come to one of my power or core classes you know that's true 🙂

Among its benefits... 

  • It strengthens the arms, abs and legs 
  • It stretches and strengthens the wrists 
  • t stretches the backs of the legs  
  • It improves the sense of balance 

Dos and don'ts:  

  • Keep your hips lifted and don’t sink them towards the mat! 
  • Keep your top arm long and straight, fingers spread and activated  
  • Stack your feet together
  • Keep your shoulders far from the ears
  • Align your entire body into one long diagonal line from the heels to the crown and don't look down 

A couple of variations... 

  • Forearm Side Plank: people with wrist pain often have a hard time doing side plank since it puts a lot of weight on one arm. Take the pressure out of your wrist by placing your forearm on the mat! 
  • Supported Side Plank: great for beginners or if you have trouble stacking the legs. Bend your upper leg and step the foot in front to support you and help you balancing. 

Caution: if you have serious wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries you should avoid this pose! 
If not...enjoy, resist, have fun and try to hold it for 5 breaths!

Namaste, 
Giulia 

 

    Happy Things

    What makes you happy?
    I've decided to list down a few simple things that sometimes we take for granted or we don't give the proper importance to...and that are actually a real source of daily happiness and make us smile inside!

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    Those are mine...

    The smell of the sea.
    Walking barefoot on the sand. 
    Clean and fresh sheets. 
    Cafes that have all-day breakfast.
    Great ideas that come to you in the middle of the night.
    Old movies, old songs.
    Sunflowers. 
    Cooking for someone you love.
    Feel the sun burning on your skin. 
    Passports and the conversations around "how terrible you look in the photo" and "how many stamps you are collecting".
    Sunsets.
    Sunrises.
    The smell of the rain.
    Baking cookies for Christmas.
    Swimming naked in the ocean (at midnight even better).
    Watching old videos of when you were a kid.
    Finding something that you hid ages ago and forgot about it.
    Running in the nature.
    Listening to my brother's songs.
    Airports.
    Coconuts.
    Playing with the curly hair of my best friend.
    Singing loudly under the shower.
    Girls moment.
    Taking millions of reportage pictures while visiting a new country.
    Sauna.
    Frozen cheeks and nose during the winter. 
    Savasana.
    Getting dirty and muddy while hiking in the jungle.
    The sound of the waves.
    The reflection of the moon on the sea.
    Asia.
    Dark chocolate with salt grains.
    Laughing until you can't breathe anymore.
    Eating fresh fruit straight from the tree. 
    Horse-riding.
    Tight hugs from my loved ones.  

    What are yours?? Does any of the above make you happy too?
    Try to make your list and see what's coming up for you.
    I'm curious to know...comment below!

    xxx
    Giulia

    Strawberry & Pistachio Crumble

    strawberry pistachio crumble.jpg

    Ingredients

    Serves: 4
     

    • 2½ cups chopped strawberries
    • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • ⅓ cup rolled oats
    • ⅓ cup chopped pistachios
    • ¼ cup almond flour (or you can blend 1 cup of almonds)
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
    • coconut oil
    • water
    • coconut yogurt (optional)

     

     

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 2 small skillets with coconut oil.

    2. In the food processor, pulse the oats, pistachios, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt until just combined. Add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and pulse again. Add 1 tbsp of water and pulse again. The mixture should be crumbly.

    3. In a bowl, combine the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar and then divide the strawberries between the skillets and top with the crumble.

    4. Bake for around 15 minutes until the topping is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. 

    5. I love adding a spoon of coconut yogurt on top!

    Enjoy!! ðŸ™‚ 

    My kind of Buddha Bowl

    Buddha bowls not only look amazing, they are a fantastic way to eat a variety of foods and get a lot of nutrients into our bodies! 
    I usually change ingredients according to what inspires me at the market or my cravings! This is one of my favourite. You can stick to this or get as crazy as you like adding and removing different ingredients! ðŸ™‚ 

    Buddha-Bowl

    Ingredients

    Serves: 2

    ½ pumpkin
    120g brown rice
    100g red quinoa
    10/12 Brussels sprouts, halved
    1 large zucchini, sliced
    100g baby salad greens
    1 capsicum, sliced
    10/12 cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 cucumber, chopped
    4 spoons of hummus
    2 beetroots
    Rosemary, origan, black pepper and the spices you like

    I know that many of you like avocado. I don't... but feel free to add it and make your own yummy variation! :) 

     

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

    2. Chop the pumpkin into squares and lay them out on the lined baking tray. Add the Brussels sprouts and chopped zucchini with the spices on top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and roast until golden and soft (about 30 to 40 minutes).

    3. Meanwhile, cook the brown rice and quinoa. I've recently bought a rice cooker, life changing! ahah

    4. To serve, lay the baby salad greens in a bowl. Add the brown rice and quinoa mixture then top with Brussels sprouts, zucchini, roasted pumpkin, capsicum, tomatoes, cucumber and beetroot. Add a spoonful of hummus on top!

    5. Drizzle over fresh lemon juice (or balsamic vinegar or dressing of choice) and finish with salt/pepper to taste!

      Enjoy!! ðŸ™‚