Each month I create 2 yoga classes for my Patrons, and they get to vote on the class theme. For January they decided that one class would focus on Lizard pose. A strong pose and a hip opener. As a supplement to the Patreon yoga class, I decided to do a short Lizard Pose Tutorial.
Lizard pose is challenging because there is a lot happening around the hips and shoulders. It’s easy to get sloppy and sink, when in fact we need to push and be strong.
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Lizard Pose Tutorial
If you’ve ever sat and looked intently at a lizard you’ll see the similarity to the animal in the shape of this pose. While it looks simple enough there is more to it than meets the eye. My prefered way to enter lizard is from a 3-legged dog. With the left leg lifted, bring the left foot between the hands. Then step the hands to the inside of the left foot, “walking” the left foot out to the left edge of your mat. Turn the toes out slightly.
From here you have options to keep the hands on the floor, or for the full expression of the pose forearms, and palms connect to the floor. Push into the forearms and be active in the legs. When you’re in the pose notice:
- Where do you feel the length?
- Is there any sense of tension or pulling/gripping?
- Are there areas that feel open?
- Do you feel strong? Or are you sinking?
- How does the pose feel on the right compared to the left?
Lizard Pose Modifications
As with all poses, modifications are available to make the pose more accessible. So I thought I’d cover a few modification in this lizard pose tutorial. So you can find comfort in the pose. Firstly, the back leg doesn’t have to be straight. If you find discomfort in having the leg lifted, then rest the knee down on your mat. I highly recommend using a folded blanket under the knee for some cushioning.
If you’re practicing the alignment of the lower body having your bodyweight on your wrists can be painful. Especially if you already have wrist issues. I suggest making fists with the hands or resting forearms to block, as above.
Of course, instead of blocks you could also use a small step stool, or stack of books. And, you can combine and and all of the the above modifications. Drop the knee AND use the blocks. Sometimes it’s good to notice things in the variations.
3 Alignment tips
When thinking about this lizard pose tutorial, three alignment tips immediately came to mind. Firstly, many people sink into the pose. Sinking through the hips, and the shoulders.
Instead actively push into forearms, lengthening the crown of head forward rather than nose to floor. Similarly, elevate the hips in line with the head/toes, rather than drooping through the midline.
The front leg shin should be vertical. So if you find your knee coming over your toes then walk the foot further forward. Help it with the hands if you need to! While this isn’t so much of an issue with the back knee bent, having it straight places more weight in the front leg. So practice a vertical front shin!
If you found this lizard pose tutorial useful, then consider signing up for Patreon for the 45-minute video. Each month you’ll get 2 new classes, plus access to all the videos in the archive. Not sure you’ll like my classes? Then consider signing up for my 7-day Yoga Challenge. Each day you’ll get a new video direct to your inbox. And as always, there are videos for free on my YouTube Channel. So many ways to begin your yoga practice today!
- Which version of Lizard pose is in your practice?
- How open are your hips?
- Do you struggle with wrist pain?