#5 Vanarasana – High Lunge Pose

(sometimes called bānarāsana)

INTERESTING….

Lunge/Monkey pose. Vānara is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “a human having the fur or tail of a monkey.” It popularly refers to the race of monkey-like humanoids in the Hindu epic Ramayana who are brave and inquisitive in nature. They are at least a foot shorter than an average human and their bodies are covered with light fur, generally brown in color. The most famous Vanara is Hanumān, a loyal devotee of Lord Rama.

“I wish that the message of Peace may be experienced through Yoga, which is not only a culture of the body but the evolution of the Self.” – Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar

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STEPS:

  • Start out kneeling on all fours
    – Hands should be positioned directly under the shoulders
    – Knees should be directly under the hips
  • Step forward with the right foot, placing it between the hands
    – Make sure the knee is directly over the ankle
    – Creating a ninety-degree angle between the floor and the calf/shin
    – Right thigh parallel with the floor
  • Lift the left knee off the ground (or see low lunge variation below)
  • Press the left heel backward
  • Feel the opposition created by pressing the left heel back and the right knee forward
  • Relax and lengthen the neck
  • Hold for five breaths (or more)

*** To come out of the pose

  • Lower the left knee down
  • Slide the right knee back so you are on all four
  • Repeat on the other side

*** Low lunge variation

  • Instead of lifting the left knee (the back knee)
  • Keep the back knee down on the ground
  • Lower the pelvis toward the floor (lengthening the two thighs in opposite directions)
  • While pressing the front of the torso forward and gently up

*** Modifications

  • If your knees are sensitive and the floor is hard, you might consider using a blanket under your knees to protect them from pressure and stress.
  • Use yoga blocks under the hands if you need them.

BENEFITS:

  • Opens the hips and chest
  • Important stretch for proper alignment of the pelvis
  • Stretches the hip flexor muscles deep in the pelvis
  • Stretches the groin and legs (front of the thighs)
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Strengthens the lower body

Contraindications:

Recent or chronic injury to the legs or hips

Hope you enjoyed!

Namasté,

Paz