The Lizard pose, aka Utthan Pristhasana
Let’s explore the Lizard pose, also known as Utthan Pristhasana.
Utthan, in Sanskrit, means to stretch out.
Pristha, meaning the back of the body, and asana meaning pose.
The Lizard pose is an excellent stretching posture for the hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps.
When integrating this pose into your regular yoga practice, it improves flexibility in your hips and and strengthens the leg muscles.
1. Let’s begin with the Downward Facing dog pose. Step the right foot forward to the outside edge of your right hand, into a lunge position.
Mindfully lower your left knee to the ground and press into your hips, keeping your arms strong and spine lengthened.
2. Slowly lower onto your forearms. Align your right shoulder to the inner edge of the right knee, as shown in the photo above. Keep your back flat, shoulders away from your ears and your head in line with your spine.
3. Press into the ball of your left foot and straighten your left leg, as shown in the photo below. Reach your arms forward for extra stretch!
Hold the pose for 5-to-10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
For those of you who find this pose challenging, keep your arms straight.
The other option for tight hips is to place yoga blocks underneath the elbows.
The extra height will help allow your hips to open more gently.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.