Quite often in yoga it’s not the tricky poses that trip us up, but the ones that look deceptively simple. Whether because we assume we’re doing it right, or we simply let our ego get the better of us. This is one of the reasons I started the yoga tutorials videos. Today I want to discuss how to do anjaneyasana, or low lunge.
While these basic pose tutorials are aimed at beginners, they are really for all levels. In the tutorial we’ll go step-by-step through the pose. Plus some common mistakes and their fixes.
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How to do anjaneyasana
Typically, anjaneyasana is transitioned through from 3-legged dog pose, by stepping the lifted leg between the hands and into the low lunge. This can be a tricky transition for many, and in a previous post I’ve covered the reasons why and how to make it a little more seamless. So from downward-facing dog, lift the right leg up.
Drawn the navel to the spine, push through the hands and bend the knee. Step the right foot through between the hands. Drop the left knee to the floor, and untuck the toes. With the right knee stacked above the ankle let the torso rise, and lift the arms overhead.
The most common error in this pose is mostly in the very flexible people who ‘hang’ in the hips. Again, say hello to the ego that thinks “feeling” something, or anything, in the hips is the goal.
Instead, energize the front leg by pushing down into the front foot, allowing the back thigh to lift a little and energize. You can also draw your focus to the back knee and shin, and consciously try and connect more of the shin to the floor. This is a pose of energy, and openness. Not sinking and hanging.
If you have an issue with pain associated with having the back knee on the floor then provide some support. So many times I’ve suggested blankets or foam pads in your yoga practice. If, like me, your knees are on the boney side then provide some padding!
Finally, let’s talk about the arms. While the arms traditionally reach up, they don’t have to. I’ll repeat that, they don’t have to. Do what’s right for your shoulders. Maybe that’s hands at the head, heart or hips. Or choosing some other arm position that works for your body.
Above all, energize, be comfortable, and do what feels right for your body. I’m fond of throwing traditional alignment cues out the window and instead creating a variation that is optimal for you. Yoga isn’t about just getting flexible. It’s strength, balance, body awareness, breath, focus, and so much more. The poses are the tip of the iceberg.
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- Have you tried anjaneyasana/low lunge?
- What struggles do you have with this pose?
- Do you experience pain or sensitivity in the knees?