Anjaneyasna is a basic pose found in most yoga classes, with several modifications and variations. The benefits of Lunge Pose include:
- Strengthens the quadriceps and gluteus muscles
- Stretches the psoas and hips
- Relieves sciatica pain
- Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders
- Develops stamina and endurance in your thighs
- Improves your balance, concentration and core awareness
- High blood pressure
- Knee injuries
- Those with shoulder problems should not raise their arms above their head, instead placing their hands on their front thigh
- Those with neck or spinal injuries should not take the backbend outlined in Step 3, and should instead keep their eye gaze forwards or downwards
- Place a soft foam block or pillow under the back knee for cushioning
- Do not raise the arms overhead if you have a shoulder or back injury
- Keep the eye gaze downwards or forwards if you have a neck injury
- To challenge your balance, try this pose with the eyes closed
- Start in Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). On an exhalation, step your right foot forward and place it beside your right thumb, lining up your right knee over your right ankle. Lower your left knee to the floor, ensuring to place it behind your hips.
- On an inhalation, raise your torso and sweep your arms above your head with your palms facing one another, placing your biceps beside your ears. On your next exhale, allow your hips to settle forwards and down until you feel a stretch in the front of your left leg and psoas.
- Draw your tailbone done towards the earth, lengthening your lower back and engaging your core muscles. Begin to draw your thumbs into the back plane of your body as you reach up with your heart, and shift your gaze up for a mild backbend.
- Stay here, or raise your back knee off the mat for a full Crescent Lunge.
- To exit the pose, place your hands down on the mat and step back to Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Repeat with the left leg forwards.