Carol Maranto Owns Side Plank Pose

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Please meet Carol Maranto. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Carol has a beautiful yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates Side Plank (Vasisthasana).

Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Own Carol Maranto and Her Life-Changing Experience with Yoga…

I have three beautiful children and a wonderful husband.
I have worked as an oncology nurse for 25 years. I love my job and the patients that I care for.
I believe God has blessed me with an amazing life! With this being said, I have struggled with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder for over a decade and at times have failed to see how very blessed I am.
I live by a todo list and tend to repeat it over and over in my head until my tasks are completed.
There have been times when I have become so overwhelmed by my running mind that I am exhausted by mid-day and have to take a nap.  I have run countless miles and have spent hours at the gym trying to shut my mind off.

I hate my anxiety and obsessions!

I hate my anxiety and obsessions!

I feel like there have been happy and memorable times in my life that I have missed out on because my mind was clouded by irrational silliness.
I feel guilty that I have wasted time worrying and obsessing over nonsense.
I have felt crazy!
Before I started at MBFY, I had been doing yoga for eight years.
That’s it. Just “doing” yoga. Not feeling or truly experiencing yoga.
I was searching for peace. I was searching for relief from my “craziness.”
Relief from my guilt.
When I walked into MBFY in December 2014 and met Marina for the first time, I knew that it was my chance to find peace. The support and acceptance I have felt from Marina and the MBFY community has been incredible.
I finally realize that I’m not crazy or terrible.
That it is okay to have struggles and not be perfect. Everyone has their own cross to bear.

I’m now practicing and experiencing yoga.
I struggle with poses, but I keep on pushing forward.
I lay in savasana at the end of practice and my mind is quiet. And that is exactly how I am now dealing with my anxiety and obsessions.
I have set backs, but I push forward. Then I find stillness.

I have set backs, but I push forward. Then I find stillness.

I no longer live by my to do list.
I am obsessing less. I am finding peace.
Thank You, MBFY. Namaste.
Leave a comment below.  What stood out to you in the testimonial? What significant experience have you had in your yoga journey? 

What is this Pose About?

This is a grounded pose, creating a deep opening in the wrists, forearms, shoulders, and spine. Watch Carol enter into this asana from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). She will exit the pose and land back in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) as well.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment and play around with it.

  • Start in Plank Pose.
  • Bring your feet together to touch behind you.
  • Press your weight down through your right hand and forearm. Then, drop your heels to the right, balancing on the outer edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of your right foot and keep your legs straight (Beginners can lower their right knee and shin to the mat, keeping their hips lifted while building strength in the arms and torso. If wrists are tender, the right forearm can be lowered to the mat as well).
  • Extend your left arm to the sky, reaching through your fingertips as you lift your hips and strengthen the triceps of both arms. Feel the muscles across your shoulder blades draw into the back. Squeeze your thighs together, and press through your heels into the floor.
  • Your body is in a straight line from the heels to the crown of the head. Gaze at your top thumb (or straight ahead and what’s directly in front of you, if your neck is tender). Press down through your bottom thumb and index finger.
  • Hold for up to 3-5 breaths. Exhale as you slowly return to Plank Pose, then to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the opposite side.


  • Strengthens your wrists, forearms, shoulders, and spine
  • Increases flexibility in the wrists
  • Opens the hips and hamstrings
  • Tones the abdominal muscles
  • Improves balance, concentration, and focus


  • Use caution practicing this pose if you have serious wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries.

Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?

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