This often overlooked posture has many names and variations. It is also often confused with Anjaneyasana, also one of the monkey poses. Can also be referred to as low lunge, high lunge, runners lunge.
Primary benefit is flexion in the front leg and extension in the back. It strengthens quads, psoas and illiacus while stretching hamstrings and gluteus in the front leg. Meanwhile the back leg muscles get a good stretch in the quads, psoas and illiacus along with the calf muscles. This is a good warmup balance pose and setup for Anjaneyasana, Virhabadrasana I, II, III, Trikonanasana and other similar standing poses. Also it is a good preparation for back bends. Increases spinal awareness and helps with lower back pain and tight psoas muscle.
Finding the Asana:
- From Ahdo Mukha Svanasa (Downward Facing Dog), raise the right leg high and on the exhale step it between the hands. Alternately from Tadasana (Standing), take a forward fold, bend the right knee and step back.
- Right knee is stacked over right ankle. Left leg is straight. Weight is distributed between the front foot and ball of the back foot.
- Align the hips. Align crown to heel in a straight line.
- Hold for 1-3 minutes and repeat on the other side.
- Come out of the pose by bending the back knee first and then reversing how you got in to it.
- Repeat on the other side.
• Use blocks to raise the torso. If that is not enough, use a chair.
• Drop the back knee to the mat and place a blanket under it for protection of the patella.
• Bring the bent leg to the outside of hand for runners lunge and lower the torso for a deeper groin stretch.
• Take the hands to heart center to increase balance awareness.
Back, hip or knee issues.