It doesn’t quite feel easier to me yet since I’ve been practicing it the hard way for about 10 years. It’s also worth noting that not everyone shares my fear of the drop back in the down dog version and that this version does require a person to have a solid handle on the balance in side plank. So this idea of it being the “easy way” is relatively subjective. Still, I can explain this entry in far fewer steps, which does lots to make it easier in my mind.
Second Obligatory Disclaimer: Not a yoga teacher. Not professional advice. Use your own best judgment when deciding if this looks like a good idea for you.
Wild Thing — The Easy Way (from Side Plank):
- I start in side plank.
I stack my feet because that’s just what I do naturally in side plank. However, it should also work just as well with this foot variation. And while I suspect it would be trickier to manage with either of the knees down variations of side plank, I also think it would be do-able — but would want to play around with that myself before I said so for sure.
- Then I drop the top foot behind me and square my hips to the ceiling.
For versions of side plank where there’s more a “font foot” and “back foot,” it’s the front foot that steps behind.
- Angling my tailbone forward to keep my low back from crunching, I press my hips to the ceiling.
I’m pretty sure that the reason I’m only on the ball of my foot here is because I landed with my back leg further under me than I do when I flip from down dog. It actually makes it easier to stretch out the more stationary leg but not so good for placing the whole foot on the ground without pinching my back. I know that the reason my free arm isn’t stretched as far as it was in the first version is because the TV stand — out of the camera shot — is in my way.
Even though I keep lamenting the fact that I didn’t know about this “easy way” until relatively recently, I think it’s probably good that I spent so long learning and practicing wild thing from down dog. Because while not seeing where I’m going to land makes me a little anxious, it is still a controlled risk. And taking conscious, controlled risk helps me learn how to cope with the negative emotions that arise from it.
Still and all, in my small home practice space, there’s just more room to do it this way.