[VIDEO] Joelle Owns Side Plank Pose

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

 

Joelle Shares Her Yoga Journey

My yoga journey started about three years ago. At the time, I was in a place of much stress and anxiety in my life.
We had just moved into a new house with two little kids and a baby. If life wasn’t stressful enough, I was told I needed surgery.
While recovering from surgery, I received a phone call from my doctor that changed my life. My doctor told me that the final biopsy of half of my thyroid showed encapsulated cancer cells.
My anxiety grew even more hearing that, having three little kids and a husband.
I have always been an anxious person and have a tendency to over analyze situations. So, how do I deal with this?
I remembered hearing people talk about yoga and the health benefits.
So, I decided to try it.
I have always worked out and cared for myself. So, I wanted to give yoga a try.
I was driving down Transit Road, where I discovered Mind Body Flow Yoga. It was close enough to my house that I could leave and still be home soon for my kids.
My first class was on a Sunday afternoon. It was much more challenging then I thought and what a wonderful mental work out! I felt a sense of peace and relaxation that I had never felt.
I did as many of the 10 days as I could during my introductory period.
Then, life happened and I forgot about myself and focused on my family and work. All the while, my anxiety grew and I couldn’t stop worrying. I was plagued with what if’s.
My whole life turned into what if’s.
So, I decided to fully commit myself back to yoga and am so glad I did!
I remember walking back in after being gone for some time and Sam goes…”Hi! It’s so nice to see you again”…omg, she remembered me?
Hmm…I thought…what a great place! My yoga community thus started.
I have met some awesome people here!

I do yoga whenever I can, between working part-time and caring for my three little kids. But, honestly, it’s been in the past year, that I started to heal!
Yoga has impacted my life in so many ways.
It has helped me decrease my worrying, anxious mind. I have been able to take how I feel on the mat and start to incorporate it into my life.
As Marina would say, “Shine on and off your mat.”
I started living my life day by day and being grateful instead of worrying about the unknown. The what-ifs became less and my over-analyzing mind quieted.
I have become a calmer person when worrying about my health.

Yoga has helped me be a calmer mom and better nurse by using my breath.
My anxiety is still there but has dramatically decreased.
I don’t know how Marina does it, but so many of her readings speak right to my heart…it’s like she knows how I am feeling!
So, thank you, Marina.
Thank you to all the wonderful instructors.
Thank you all for your beautiful words that I re-play when needed.
Mind Body Flow Yoga is an amazing studio! See you on the mat!
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 Joelle 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.

Benefits

  • 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

Caution

  • 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?