Skandasana: Side Lunge

There are several different ways to enter this lunge, the instructions below will guide you into it from standing wide leg stance (prasarita tadasana).

To begin:
1. Begin in Wide Legged Standing Posture, moving into Wide Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) with a flat back. Press evenly into both feet, toes facing in slightly, bringing the hands to the hips, on an exhalation slowly start to hinge forward bringing the hands to the floor (Option to take hands to blocks if you are feeling tight in the hips)

2. With the hands on the floor or blocks, start to shift the feet into a Warrior 2 stance with front knee bent and the back leg straight. Be sure the feet are wide about 2-2.5 feet apart, front toes pointed forward, front heel in line with the arch of the back foot.

3. From a Warrior 2 foot stance, start to rotate forward and bring both hands down to the floor near the front foot. Slowly start to point the front toe to the front corner of your mat, and begin flexing the back foot -toes upward, pressing weight into the back heel as you lower your hips down to the floor near the front heel. As you lower you may find the you have space to slide your back heel more towards the back of the mat, with the back leg extended and hips open toward the side of the mat.

4. When starting out, use your hands on the floor for balance and support. If you feel stable here, then begin to play with bringing your hands off the mat and playing with different hand/arm variations that feel good to you.

You can stay on the ball of your front foot or if you have space, you may allow your foot to come completely flat on the ground. However if the heel stays lifted that is totally fine, in time it will make its way to the ground so be patient and don’t force it.

Take your gaze where you feel the most stable and supported, either on the floor out in front of you, to the side or perhaps playing with balance and gazing up toward the ceiling/sky above. If you choose to extend the arms apart, try sending the gaze to the upper finger tips but be mindful of your neck.


Deepen the Pose:

Add a bind!

If you wish to deepen the pose play with adding a bind. From the lunge on the right side, bring the right shoulder and arm in front of the right leg.Bend the elbow and wrap the right arm back and around. Now bend the left arm and take it behind the body to clasp fingertips near the lower back. Once in the bind, continue revolving the chest toward the extended leg, opening upward through the chest and sending the gaze skyward.

To exit the post, release the bind SLOWLY and bring both hands to the floor. Gently return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.


Modification for accessibility:

Feel free to bring blocks into this posture if the ground is not a comfortable distance for you hands while moving through this posture.

Benefits:

Builds core strength, stretches hamstrings, hips and inner groins, improves balance.

Contraindications/Cautions:

Avoid this pose if you have any current injury to the hips, knees or ankles.


Huge thanks to our gifted instructor Brittany Griffiths for guiding us! Keep an eye out for more ways to expand your body and find her on Instagram at @soulstokedyogini !

* We advise strongly urge against doing any deep postures or stretches before warming up completely. Try these at the end of your climbing session or after warming your body up completely.

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