To begin the pose, step forward with your right foot and lean into a lunge position, keeping your back leg straight behind you.
Slowly move your right foot to the left side and drop your knee to the right onto the ground while flexing your toes outward. Try to keep your shin perpendicular to your back leg but if you feel discomfort, bring your foot closer to the groin area.
Square your hips by transitioning your right hip back and your left hip forward. (If your right hip drops too much use a blanket to prop it up to keep your hips level.)
Your left leg should still be stretched out straight behind you, but now resting on the ground.
As you sit in this pose be aware of your breathing - inhaling and exhaling deeply - and imagining all the tension in your buttocks and hips to be spacing out and relaxing. A myriad of emotions and sensations will arise the first few times you practice this pose. It's important to stay focused as you observe these changes while they pass through you.
You will find that the longer you sit in this pose the more it will deepen; releasing tension that you didn't even know existed in the depths of your buttocks and hips.
Stay in the pose as long as you need and then repeat with the left leg.
To Extend the Pose: While you are in the pose, slowly bend forward to lie on top of your bent knee, bringing your face toward the ground.
** If you have knee injuries such as damage to the ligaments or tendons, lift the hip of the back leg a little bit. Generally though, knee problems often stem from tight hip muscles so the pose may decrease knee pain.
- The best stretch for the buttocks and hips; loosens the deepest of knots.
- Opens the chest and shoulders for easier breathing.
- Increases mental and emotional clarity.
- Releases pent up energy.
- Soothes anxieties.
- Strengthens the knee muscles.
- Stretches the groin, abdomen, lower back and leg muscles.
- Opens the external hip rotators, which can be the root of lower back pain.
Breathe through your nose while doing postures, not through your mouth. You may also find yourself holding your breath if you are going outside your comfort zone. Be sure to breathe fluidly throughout a pose.