Runners Lunge/Half Splits
(High Lunge with arms on mat)
Sanskrit: Ardha Hanumanasana
Image of Maggie Anderson taken by Maggie Anderson
Runners Lunge is a main component of the Sun Salutation Sequence. This pose is fantastic for stretching the hips, hipflexors, groin, inner thigh and calves. You are also strengthening your legs, back and arms in the process. It’s also great for indigestion, backache, constipation and sciatica. A softening occurs in the groin and hip muscles, releasing tension.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
From Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), bend your knees and, with an inhale, step your right foot back toward the back edge of your mat, with the bottom of your toes and the ball of your foot on the floor. Be sure your front bent knee is over the ankle forming a right 90 degree angle. Your torso will be right on or hovering above your front thigh and lengthen your torso forward. You may choose to place your hands on blocks on either side of your front foot to lift your torso up and assist you in straightening your back. To soften your right groin, imagine that the thigh is sinking toward the floor under your torso’s weight. Look forward (down if you have any neck soreness). To modify, lower the back knee down to the mat. Exhale and step your left foot back beside the right into Plank pose. Repeat the above instructions on the other side. You may also do this from DownDog, stepping one foot back at a time.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
If you have knee injuries you may need to modify, by lowering the back knee down on to the mat, or avoid this pose until you are in better condition to enjoy the benefits of this pose. Also, if you have neck issues be sure to look down at the floor instead of straight ahead. Place the back knee on the floor for support until strength and flexibility increase.
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