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.
Hanumanasana: Front Splits Pose
Hanumanasana (hah-new-mahn-AHS-ah-nah) honors the great leap made by Hanuman, the famous monkey god from the Ramayana, across the ocean from India to the mountains of Sri Lanka. Front splits pose demands flexibility, strength, and stability.
Philosophy + Origin
More than just an incredible leap, Hanuman is remembered, celebrated, and worshiped because of his great devotion and courage. To be devoted, one must be bold enough to stand firmly in their beliefs, selflessly serving others and putting others’ needs above their own.
Because of its physical demands, it’s easy to get caught up in “achieving” the outward appearance of the posture. As such, it’s important to keep your ego in check as you dedicate yourself to the posture. Above all, invite kindness and selflessness to flow freely from the posture. As you practice, ask yourself how you can embody Hanuman’s devotion both in your physical yoga practice and your everyday life.