Side Lunge/Wide Leg Squat
Sanskrit: Prasarita Lunge
Image of Maggie Anderson taken by Maggie Anderson
Side Lunges are perfect for opening up our hips and inner thighs, as well as toning our buttocks and quads. Mostly, my favorite benefit of coming into this pose is the deep inner thigh, hamstring, groin and calf stretch we get.
Switching from side to side is a great way to warm-up the body and get the blood pumping in your lower body. More heat and synovial fluid will be pumping in the hips allowing you to even flow back and forth at a faster pace, if desired. We have the option here to even allow our arms to flow free and let loose.
The Side Lunge is a main component of the Moon Salutation Sequence.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
From Runner Lunge (Ardha Hanumanasana) begin to take both hands to the inside of the front bent leg. Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot, and lower your tailbone as you pivot the right foot to face forward, rotating the left leg so that toes point upward (more challenging is to point left foot forward). If accessible, bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra. If that is too challenging, keep the palms on the floor. Hold for a few breaths. Then switch flowing to the other side repositioning and aligning the feet and hands for the opposite side lunge.
To release, press your hands into the mat, slowing lifting your hips and bringing feet closer together. Slowly, round your spine, lower your hand and roll up one vertebrae at a time. Feet come all the way back in together, palms to the heart, lower the head, in Mountain with Anjali Mudra.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
If you have lower back or knee injuries you may need to modify or avoid this pose until you are in better condition to enjoy the benefits of this pose. If the low squat in this side lunge is challenging stay up higher, even placing hands on the thigh you are lunging on, spine straight.
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