summer yoga series: low lunge + twist

Low Lunge twist is a yoga pose that helps to improve the strength and flexibility in your hip flexors, legs, back and knees. The twist helps encourage spinal flexibility and stimulates digestion and internal organs.

Spinal mobility is extremely important as we age for balance and posture. Twisting is great for preserving movements of looking both ways before we cross the road, checking our blind spot and generally looking over our shoulder,  In addition, stretching the front of our hips can counteract all the sitting we do during the day, and address the tightness in the hip flexors from the forward stooped posture that can occur in Parkinson’s disease.

Benefits:

  • It is advisable for people who are suffering from sciatica as it stretches the hamstrings and leg muscles.
  • It is beneficial for the heart.
  • It stretches and stimulates the lower body.
  • It helps to strengthen one’s balance.
  • It stimulates the reproductive organs and helps with digestion as well.
low lunge with toes tucked for stability

low lunge with toes tucked for stability

low lunge with toes untucked to lengthen foot

low lunge with toes untucked to lengthen foot

How-to:

  • start by kneeling on your hand and knees. Exhale while stepping the right foot in front, between your hands. Ensure that the right knee is in alignment over the right foot (90degree angle).
  • Slide the left leg back until you feel the muscles (gently!) stretching in your groin and as well as in the front of your left thigh.
  • You can keep the left toes tucked for added stability or turn the top of your left foot (“shoelaces”) to the floor for a greater stretch along the front of your left foot/leg.
  • Now inhale while lifting your chest forward through your fingertips. Thin about bringing your shoulder blades together while maintaining a long neck and spine.
  • Try to lift your pubic bone towards your belly button and press your tailbone downwards.
  • Square your hips and your pelvis in alignment. Bring your right hip back and left hip forward slightly.
  • Stay here and feel your pelvis sink to the floor. Notice the opening in your hip and legs. If you’d like to take it into a twist…
  • Twisted from the navel and lower belly, bring the left elbow to the outside of the right knee and place the palms together in a prayer position.
  • Pressing the palms together, use the arms to press the right shoulder up and back, twisting the upper back.
  • Aim your gaze over your right shoulder.
  • Eventually, aim to twist your spine enough so that the palms are at the center of the chest and the fingers are pointing up towards the throat.
low lunge: right knee under right ankle, legs hip-width apart, hips square, and chest lifted

low lunge: right knee under right ankle, legs hip-width apart, hips square, and chest lifted

low lunge twisted

low lunge twisted

* if you have knee pain, place a rolled up mat or blanket under your knee to provide cushion.

* if you have balance issues, face your low lunge away from a wall with your back foot pressing on the wall for support.

 

happy lunging and twisting! much love

ps. last week’s summer yoga series posture here: cat / cow

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