The Lunge Yoga pose (Anjaneyasana) is a pose named after a Hindu deity, Hanumana a.k.a. Anjaneya (called so after his mother, Anjani). The pose is also known by other names such as the Cresecent Lunge Pose, High or Low Lunge pose. But, all these are merely variations of the same pose, which will be discussed later in this article.
It is a common pose in Advanced Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) sequence. The pose is another hip opening exercise which simultaneously strengthens groin area.
The pose is highly effective in toning the inner thighs, calves and strengthening ankles and toes and knees. Apart from this, it has been found helpful in constipation, indigestion and sciatica. The pose is beneficial for women with menstrual problems. While you have a much flexible spine right after the class, regular practice leads to stronger bones and lower risk of osteoporosis.
Getting in the pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Initial Position: Downward Dog Pose (Svanasana)
Drishti or Gaze: While performing this pose, concentrate your gaze in front.
- While you get into the starting position, bring your left feet directly under your left shoulder.
- Gently shift your weight on left leg, and bend downwards. As a result, your left knee is bent, with your hands supporting weight on sides. Front feet should be flat on floor making an angle of 90 degrees. Do not push forward and strain your ankle,
- It is quite possible, that in attempt to do this, you go off balance initially. In that case, bend your right knee a little and take floor’s support. But, do not forget, the aim is to throw weight on both the feet. So, you must try to keep your right leg stretched out back.
- Now, stretch your head up feeling tension at the back of thighs and shoulders.
- Hold the position for 15-30 seconds as a beginner. Later you must hold it even longer, say a minute or more. Breathe in once.
- Gently exhale and revert to the starting position. Repeat on the other side too. This completes on cycle of the Low Lunge pose.
- Do it twice in a practice along with other poses.
If you feel exerted, rest in Child’s pose.
- High Lunge pose: The only difference between high and low lunge is, that in high lunge, the weight is entirely balanced on the feet, and hands are high up in air. This can also be considered an advanced version of the lunge pose. When you master the former, only then, inhale and raise up your hands (palms inside) in air, further enhancing the stretch. This is a great variation for lengthening back and arm muscles. Women have reported reduction in armpit fat after doing this pose.
- Iyengar yoga: Here, the heel of the leg stretched out back, is supported by a tiny wedge or bolster.
- Downward Dog Pose (Adhomukh Svanasana)
- Triangle Pose (Upavista Trikonasana)
- Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)
Keeping the heel anchored to floor is a big problem for beginners. Try getting into the pose with support of back from the wall.
- Bound Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)
- Revolved Lunge Pose (Parivritta Anjaneyasana)
- Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)
- This pose targets complex muscle groups. Hence, move forward to next step only when you can comfortably perform the present step.
- This is a Vinyasa yoga pose and hence, movements must be synchronized with the breath. That way, you strengthen your internal as well as external system simultaneously.
- Those with issues of knee or spinal injuries, and pain in neck are strictly advised against this pose.