Lizard Lunge: Utthan Pristhasana
Utthan Pristhasana (OOT-ahn preesth-AHS-ah-nah) is a deep lunge that strengthens the groin and inner hamstrings while preparing the body for deeper hip openers. This shape is also called runner’s lunge in some areas.
- Utthan: stretch out
- Pristha: page of the book; back of the body
- Asana: pose
- Opens the hips, hamstrings, groins and hip flexors.
- Strengthens the inner thigh muscles on the front leg.
- Crescent lunge | Anjenayasana
- Monkey lunge | Anjenayasana
- Happy baby | Ananda balasana
- Half pigeon | Eka pada rajakapotasana
- Half splits | Ardha hanumanasana
- Flying splits | Eka pada Koundinyasana
- Head to knee pose | Janu sirsasana
- Bound angle pose | Baddha konasana
- Half lord of the fishes | Ardha matsyendrasana
- Place your hands or forearms on a block.
- Place your back knee on the ground or a blanket for a variation.
- Begin kneeling on your mat in tabletop pose.
- Step your right foot to the top of your mat outside of your right hand.
- Walk your back leg back as far as is comfortable, toes tucked under.
- Option to lift your back knee off the ground.
- Squeeze your feet toward each other to engage the hip and leg muscles.
- Reach your chest forward, keeping your spine long.
- If you have room, lower your forearms to a block or the ground. If the ground seems far away, place your hands on a block or a chair.
- Hold for five breaths, then release to tabletop. Repeat on the other side.
Ardha Uttanasana: Half Standing Forward Bend
An effective stretch for your hamstrings and calves ardha uttanasana (ARE-dah OOT-tan-AHS-anna), is often used during vinyasa sequences to connect the breath as you flow from one posture to the next.
Philosophy + Origin
One of the reasons ardha uttanasana is used so much in vinyasa yoga classes is that it positions the body for chaturanga dandasana. Because it engages the navel and core, it’s a powerful pose for warming up the body, which is why it’s included in warm-up sequences. Despite its sometimes transitory nature, the pose also engages the navel chakra (manipura), which can bring the practitioner increased confidence and willpower.