Low Lunge, or Anjaneyasana in Sanskrit, stretches the thighs and groins and opens the chest. It provides recovery post-workout, and boosts energy while consciously working to improve posture.
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Low Lunge: Step-by-Step Instructions
- From Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning the right knee over the heel. Then lower your left knee to the floor and, keeping the right knee fixed in place, slide the left back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left front thigh and groin. Turn the top of your left foot to the floor.
- Inhale and lift your torso to upright. As you do, sweep your arms out to the sides and up, perpendicular to the floor. Draw the tailbone down toward the floor and lift your pubic bone toward your navel. Lift your chest from the firmness of your shoulder blades against the back torso.
- Take your head back and look up, being careful not to jam the back of your neck. Reach your pinkies toward the ceiling. Hold for a minute, exhale your torso back to the right thigh and your hands to the floor, and turn your back toes under. With another exhale, lift your left knee off the floor and step back to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Repeat with the left foot forward for the same length of time.
Contraindications and Cautions
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Virasana (Hero Pose)
Virabhadrasana I and III (Warrior Poses I and III)
To improve balance practice this pose facing a wall. Press the big toe of the front foot against the wall and stretch your arms up, finger tips to the wall.
Low Lunge variations
Lunges can be practiced in a number of different ways that allow you to adjust the pose for your body. Practice by placing you hands on your hips, reaching your arms up, or arching back. Your knee can be positioned under your hip or you can slide it back away from your body for more of a quad stretch. Place a blanket under your knee for cushioning.
Low Lunge with props
Support yourself on blocks placed on each side of your front foot. Placing a folded blanket under your back knee will not only cushion the joint, but will also allow you to adjust your knee closer or farther from your body depending on the length of your hamstring and quads.
Low Lunge in a chair
If you need an alternative to practicing Low Lunge on the floor, you can practice a variation of the pose sitting in a chair. Sit up straight with your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Lift one leg up, grasp your knee or calf with both hands, and pull your knee toward your body.