Yoga Pose of the Week: Lunge Variation

Genevieve Oswald in Lunge Variation, by Zoe Zimmerman for Sundara Studios 2013

Genevieve Oswald in Lunge Variation, by Zoe Zimmerman for Sundara Studios 2013

This week’s pose is a variation of a basic posture, and with it, an invitation to be present in the basic, sometimes mundane, but ever-changing experiences on the mat and in daily life.

Start in a standing forward fold, exhale to step your left foot back behind you taking a basic straight leg lunge.  Pause, inhale, and enjoy the sweetness of what is also mundane. With your next exhale lower your left knee to the mat, and walk your right foot wide to the right side of your mat taking a wide bent knee lunge.  Inhale to bend your back knee and lift your left foot away from the mat. With the same breath sweep your right arm up and back to grab the back foot.  Pause, exhale, and settle in.

With your next inhale sweep your hips back in space to touch your left foot to the outer edge of your right hip, exhale to scoop your tailbone down toward the floor lifting your low abdomen toward your navel.  These two previous actions when done together create an intense stretching across the front of your back thigh through the quadriceps muscles.  This stretch may be deep enough for you as it is.

If you would like to go deeper, keep all the previous action and lower your left forearm parallel to the front of the mat. Inhale to draw your right shoulder back behind your heart and exhale to twist, curling your heart toward the ceiling and your gaze back behind you as you dive more deeply into the now bent knee, twisting, quad stretching lunge.

Stay for 5 to 10 breaths then change sides, noting to yourself that though each posture is very similar, no one thing is ever the same twice.