This is a great pose for athletes. It treats the typical sources of lower-body soreness, especially in runners: tight quads, hamstrings, and hips. Low Lunge may seem simple at first, but there are a plethora of benefits to this posture.
If you are having trouble balancing, try practicing this pose facing a wall. Press the big toe of the front foot against the wall and stretch your arms up, fingertips to the wall if necessary.
Getting Into Low Lunge Pose:
Start in Downward-Facing Dog. From there, exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands. If you have trouble reaching, use your hand to move your foot up, aligning knee over heel. Then lower your left knee to the floor, placing the top of that foot on the floor.
Slide the left leg back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the front thigh and groin. Make sure to keep your right knee fixed in place as you do this. As you exhale, gradually take the lunge deeper by allowing the right knee to move slightly in front of the ankle.
Now, inhale and lift your torso upright while sweeping your arms out to your sides and up overhead. Your arms should be straight and perpendicular to the floor. Remember to avoid slouching! Engage your core and grow taller from your pelvis through the crown of your head. Keep your chin lifted slightly, but not so much that it compresses your neck.
Hold for 1 minute then exhale your torso down so you can place your hands on the floor on each side of your right foot. Turn your toes back under and, with another exhale, lift your left knee off of the floor and step back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat Anjaneyasana for the same amount of time with your left foot forward.
Benefits of Low Lunge Pose:
- Releases tension in your hips
- Stretches your hamstrings, quads, and groin
- Strengthens your knees
- Helps build mental focus