Your Monthly Yoga Pose
We are starting a new decade. January always brings new beginnings, but we are starting the roaring ’20s! The excitement of a new decade has me feeling strong, purposeful, and ready for a challenge. Are you ready for a new decade? Do you have any goals or challenges you’d like to accomplish this year or this decade? One thing you can certainly work on is this month’s yoga pose.
Ninja lunge, or skandasana, is a pose that requires a degree of strength and flexibility as well knowledge of your limits. The pose opens the hips and requires some balance depending on your hip mobility. As with every yoga pose, your body and your body’s history will determine what this pose looks like for you. Some may have the sole of their bent leg foot on the mat, while others may need to have their heel on a block or have their weight on the balls of their feet. Some may sit low if the extended leg’s hamstrings are open and long; others may sit a little taller. The pose can bring an element of fun but may also bring emotions of frustration. Listen to your inner monologue, as with all yoga poses, and find the optimal posture that allows for strength and ease in the breath.
- Begin a wide leg forward fold with both feet slightly turned in and your knees slightly bent.
- Warm up by making figure-eight movements with your hips in both directions, bending one leg then the other.
- Bend your knees enough to allow your hands to touch the mat.
- Walk your hands over to the right side as you straighten the left leg.
- Allow the left knee to turn out or up toward the sky. Allow the toes to follow, leaving your weight on your right foot, left heel, and hands.
- Keep your hips back, your core tight and lifted, and avoid any twisting of the knee.
- Listen to your body. Perhaps this is where your ninja lunge ends for today. However, if your body feels ready, lift the hands and place them in anjali mudra, or palms together.
- Depending on your comfort with this pose, the arms may reach forward, to the side, or bind around the bent leg.
- Stay in the pose for five breaths.
- Repeat steps 1-8 for the left side.
This pose is excellent for anyone who sits for a prolonged period of time or for runners and athletes. It stretches the hamstrings and hip flexors as well as tones the core. Hope you take on 2020 like the ninja that you are!