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.
Janu Sirsasana: Head to Knee Pose
Janu sirsasana (JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna), may look simple, but it combines elements of a forward fold, twist, and side body stretch. Head to knee pose stretches the hamstrings, low back, and groins and can be adjusted to be very challenging or very relaxing.
Philosophy + Origin
While the name of the pose may seem to reveal an intention based on physical anatomy (head to knee pose), janu sirsasana is really all about turning inward and creating space for self-reflection. Instead of focusing on the intensity of the posture — or a desire to bring your head to your knee — turn your attention to the peace and stillness that may be hiding beneath the more prominent sensations.