What does Side Plank Have to Do with Strength?

Yoga is everything to me. Yoga brought me to myself and continues to remind me about my fortitude and internal strength. This week on Udaya I took Calvin Corzine’s class, “Vasi B…Fancy version of sidearm.” I came to my mat thinking I was going to work on strengthening my side plank but left the mat with a reminder that I am strong, no matter the circumstance, on or off the mat.

Calvin takes us through side plank three separate times, opening the hip and loosening the hamstrings along the way. My first side plank I felt tired and as if my right arm was much weaker than the other. My mind went immediately to, “this is going to be too hard”, “why can’t I be strong in this position” “why is my right arm weak?” etc., etc. I doubted my abilities and myself.

Using Calvin’s meticulous alignment cues, I quieted my mind, paid attention to my body and my breath, and the second time we were in side plank I felt warm, strong, accomplished. The third time, I was solid, inspired, and even progressed in the pose. I finished the class feeling strong physically and mentally. Since taking this class, I have been thinking about how quickly I went to self-doubt, judgment, weakness and forgot to practice what yoga is; a celebration of my inner being. I have been thinking about how strong I really am, having nothing to do with my side plank. This is the true gift of yoga, the reminder to be good to self; and celebrate inner strength.

This morning I woke up and for the first time in the four years in which I have practiced yoga, I rolled out my mat and completed my own personal practice. No Udaya (for which I am forever grateful), no studio, just me and my inner strength.

You can watch the full class, Vasi B on


By Dr. Jen Huberty: Yogi, ASU Professor of Exercise & Wellness, Mommy

Dr. Huberty’s ASU Bio


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