High Lunge Pose
High Lunge Pose will offers a spinal stretch, opening the chest and pelvic cavities. This yoga position is used in the traditional Hatha Yoga Sun Salutation stretching the groin, hip flexors, and legs. It is a productive yoga exercise to strengthen the spine and surrounding muscles.
Although this pose is quite popular in most yoga classes, the high lunge does not have an official Sanskrit name. Some refer to it as Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana, while others leave out the word “utthita,” which means raised in English. By itself, “ashwa sanchalanasana” can be translated to mean equestrian pose or riding posture.
Benefits of High Lunge Pose
High lunge opens the hips and chest, stretches the groin and legs, lengthens the spine and strengthens the lower body. High Lunge is a good yoga exercise to treat various problems like indigestion, constipation and sciatica.
How to Do High Lunge Pose (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
- On your hands and knees in Table Pose, step the right foot forward between the two hands, with the knee directly over the ankle. Tuck the back toes under and straighten the back leg.
- Press the palms, fingers or fists into the floor to lift the crown of the head up towards the ceiling. Roll the shoulders down and back and press the chest forward. Look straight ahead with the chin parallel to the floor.
- Extend the back leg by pressing the heel towards the floor and by pressing the back of the knee up towards the ceiling. Relax the hips and let them sink down towards the floor.
- Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.
- To release: Lower the left knee down and slide the right knee back into Table, or step the right foot back into Downward Facing Dog.
- Repeat on other side.
High Lunge Pose for Beginners
Beginners often have two problems with this pose: they can’t keep their back heel anchored to the floor as they bend their front knee into the pose, and then they can’t easily touch the fingertips of their lower hand to the floor once they’re in the pose.
- To solve the first problem, brace your back heel against a wall. As you bend the front knee and then lower your torso to the side, imagine that, with your heel, you’re pushing the wall away from you.
- For the second problem either rest your forearm on the top of the bent-knee thigh (instead of trying to touch the hand to the floor), or use a block outside the front foot to support your hand.
High Lunge Pose for Advanced
For advanced users or yogis, the yoga pose High Lunge is known to be particularly beneficial in correcting the problems related to the back and providing strength to the 4 limbs. You may deepen the pose by staying in the final position as long as you can. Breathe deeply and slowly to make the yoga pose more effective. For more intensity, raise the arms above the head gazing to the fingertips.
- To challenge your balance, try this pose with the eyes closed.
- Hold the pose for longer or add dips bringing the back knee to hover just above the floor.
- Transition into Warrior III pose by inhaling stepping the weight into the front foot and then on an exhale lifting the back foot to come into the pose.
Lunge Into the Future
High Lunge can be a powerful way to build strength, balance, and concentration. As you practice this pose on a regular basis, you’ll create equanimity in all areas of your life. Finding ease in Crescent Lunge will allow you to establish the qualities of balance, grace, and power, even off the mat!