Side Lunge is a transitional pose of the Moon Salutation. It stretches your hips and hamstrings, helps build your core strength and challenges your balance.
Side Lunge - step by step
Move into Wide-Leg Standing Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana) and turn the feet out at about 45 degrees.
Bend the knees and sink the pelvis, resting your hands on your thighs. Take a few breaths to get centred and grounded.
Fold forward and take your fingertips to the floor, so that you can use your hands to help with your balance.
Bend your left knee and shift your pelvis to the left, walking your hands to the left to support you. Lower into a half-squat,
Keep your right leg straight. You can keep the sole of the right foot on the floor, with your toes pointing forward. Or rotate the right hip so the knee cap and toes point to the ceiling. Flex your right ankle and rest on the right heel.
Keep your hands on the floor if you need them for balance. Or try bending your elbows and bring your hands into anjali mudra (palms together).
Pause for five breaths or so, listening to the body and working on your balance and alignment.
Release your hands to the floor for support and shift to the other side.
Works and releases the muscles of your ankles
Develops mobility in the hip joints
Works and releases back muscles
Working on stability challenges the muscles of the abdomen
Side Lunge is a facing forward pose. As best you can, keep the hips square and aligned with the ankles rather than twisting.
As always - take care not to twist at the knee joint.
Keep your abdominal muscles softly engaged.
Practice Garland Pose will help you get used to squatting.
For a challenge, try stepping back and forth to Skandasanafrom Mountain Pose, without placing your hands on the floor.
If you can't comfortably get into a full squat, with the sole of the foot flat on the floor, you can stay up on the ball of your left foot. It's more of a challenge to your balance. Cautions If lowering down into a full half squat stresses your knee joint, you can practice a high side lunge instead. Shift the pelvis from side to side, bending one leg as you straighten the other, without lowering the pelvis down any further than is comfortable for you.
You might decide to leave out this pose if you have an injury to your hip, knee, or ankle. A little 'boobar' discomfort is often part of your learning process. If you feel any sharp 'kiki' pain in this pose, it's a warning signal - come straight out.
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