Vimanasana (Airplane Pose)

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How to do it

Begin on your stomach with feet together and forearms on the floor, right cheek on the ground.

Inhale: Lift your chest and both legs, bringing your legs wide apart and your head to the center.

Exhale: Bring your chest and legs down, feet together, left cheek to the ground.

Continue to move like that, alternating sides.

TRICK: Be sure to keep your pelvis leveled throughout the movement. Try to lift your legs up to the same height and move them out to the same width.

Pose adaptations


Vimanasana: Scissors strengthens all the structures that support and protect the sacroiliac ligaments (lower back, glutes, abductors, deep hip rotators, etc.) Moving the legs in and out encourages a slight tipping of the sacrum back and forth, which helps to realign the relationship between the sacrum and the pelvis.

Arms and legs mismatch

Vimanasana: Arms and legs mismatch is a challenging pose that actively strengthens your upper and lower back. Moving the legs in and out also strengthens your abductors and moving your arms out and forward engages your upper back, neck and shoulders. Since your arm and leg movements are mismatched, it helps to keep the mind focused and facilitates right-left brain integration.

Arms forward

Vimanasana: Arms forward intensifies the work of your lower and upper back. It requires a lot of back strength to keep both your arms and you legs raised off the floor. Keeping the arms extended forward increases the load on the neck and upper back, so be sure to keep your head in line with the spine to avoid neck tension.

Arms out

Vimanasana: Arms out is a strong posture that engages the entire posterior (back) surface of the body and stretches the chest. Your body has to work harder because your pelvis is the only point of contact with the floor, which means that large skeletal muscles have to work hard to lift you into the pose, and smaller muscles have to work to stabilize and prevent you from tipping one way or the other. Bringing your legs apart engages your abductors and strengthens the muscles that support your sacrum.

On pillow

Vimanasana: on pillow works great for those who cannot lie down on their bellies. This adaptation is particularly important for pregnant women, since sacroiliac join discomfort is a common problem during pregnancy, but lying flat on one’s stomach becomes impossible and inadvisable early on. Placing the pillow under your pelvis and supporting your upper body on your forearms allows plenty of room for the belly.

With chair

Vimanasana: With chair is useful for those who cannot transition down to the ground. Do not do this movement in a chair with a slanting seat. Make sure that your pelvis feels even and supported when you lift your legs up.