low lunge – anjaneyasana

(Last Updated On: February 14, 2021)

low lunge – anjaneyasana

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set up

From downward facing dog, step your right foot to the inside of your right thumb.  Keep right knee stacked over right ankle.  Let your back knee come down, then scootch your knee a little further back to really get into your goin and hip flexors. 

Once your foundation is situated, bring your torso upright toward the vertical axis, trying to keep the hips neutral.  With arms by your side, turn your palms to face out to externally rotate your upper arms.  On an inhale, draw the arms out and up overhead.

work within the pose

upper body

  • Arms overhead can be shoulder width apart.  If you can comfortable straighten your elbows, take your palms together to touch.  
  • Lift your chest from the firmness of your shoulder blades pressing in toward your heart
  • Maintain lengthening the spine and opening the space around the heart
  • If it’s ok on your neck, gaze toward your thumbs. Take your head back and look up without compressing the neck
  • Keep drawing your torso away from your thigh

low body

  • Draw tailbone down toward the floor and lift your pubic bone toward your navel
  • Keep sinking your hips forward to accentuate the stretch in your front hip flexor & groin
  • Press the top of your back foot firmly into the ground
  • Keep grounding down the ball and heel of your front foot

Anjaneyasana is technically a backbend, although it is not always taught/practiced as such.

benefits  

  • Improves focus & balance
  • Strengthens shoulders, spine, and legs
  • Stretches hip flexors & opens chest
  • Strengthens glutes & quads
  • Develops stamina & endurance in thighs
  • Improves core awareness

contraindications

  • Any pose with the arms raised overhead should be approached with caution for people with blood pressure or cardiac issues
  • Knee issues could be aggravated

modifications

  • If balance is proving to be an issue, take two blocks to either side of the top of your mat, flanking your front foot.  Begin with arms down and hands to floor or blocks.
  • Place a blanket under the back knee if you need a little cushioning
  • This pose can be approached as a backbend or a neutral pose.  If you are backbending, lengthen the spine up then back, moving vertebra by vertebra.  Tilt head back last.  If you are approaching this pose from a more neutral standpoint, posteriorly tilt the pelvis to maintain neutrality.  Lengthen tailbone toward the floor and draw front ribs in toward one another to get rid of any excess arch in the low back.  Keep the gaze forward and neutral.
  • If raising the arms overhead is somehow aggravating, you can take both hands, palm face down, to your front knee.  Gently press into your knee and keep drawing your torso away from your thigh.

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