yoga pose of the month

High Lunge or Banarasana
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BENEFITS

  • Stretches the hips on the back leg.

  • Stretches the psoas muscles.

  • Strengthens the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, calf muscles, and hamstrings.

  • Engages the deep core muscles, which help create stability

  • Can help alleviate pain caused by sciatica

  • Improves balance

  • Builds strength for the muscles that support the knee.

  • Helps with learning to square your hips before going into more complicated poses.

  • Strengthens legs and tones the pelvic floor

HOW TO:

  1. Stand in Mountain Pose. Fold forward to touch the floor with your finger tips. 

  2. Bend your knees and lift your chest to a flat back.  

  3. Engage your belly and step your right leg to the back of your mat.  Make sure that your left knee is on top of your ankle and is bending in line with the center of your foot.  Keep your hips square to the mat so that one side is not tilted downward, raised upward or reaching back towards the extended leg. 

  4. Maintain a flat back by staying on your finger tips.  Keep the weight even in your legs and off of your hands. Root through the four corners of your front foot and reach through the four corners of your back foot.  

  5. Straighten your back leg thinking about pulling your hamstring to the ceiling and squeeze your knee by engaging the front of your thigh.  

  6. Take a big breath, brace your core and step your right foot forward to meet the left. Inhale to a flat back  and exhale step your left leg back to repeat the lunge on the other side.

  7. Avoid placing your palms on the floor, this will cause you to round over your thighs making the pose and breathing more difficult.

MODIFICATIONS:

Those with limited mobility can use blocks by the front foot to place hands (fingertips).  This will raise your chest up off of your thigh and allow you to lengthen the pose and build strength.