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.
Garudasana: Eagle Pose
Eagle pose, or garudasana (gah-rue-DAHS-anna), requires a combination of balance, strength, and flexibility. A great stretch for your shoulders, upper back, and legs, garudasana creates space in your body physically, but also opens up space mentally. To sustain the posture, you must give it your full attention and commitment, drawing your mind to one singular point of focus.
Philosophy + Origin
Although commonly known as eagle pose, the word “garuda” in Sanskrit really refers to a great mythical bird, one with a golden body, white face, and red wings. The king of all birds, Garuda is the vehicle of choice for Lord Vishnu, who serves as the preserver and protector of humans and creation. Garuda is the bird who managed to obtain the elixir of immortality, soma, in order to save his mother Vinata from enslavement.