Lunge Pose

I find Lunge Pose to be a good foundation pose. It is very popular in yoga classes, often as a transition pose, but also to warm up before getting to asanas that are more challenging for our flexibility. This asana works on flexibility, strength and balance all at once, which makes it a great pose to practice frequently.

Like many other postures in yoga, there are a few different variations of Lunge Pose. If you choose to arch your back, as described in Variation 4 below, your lower spine will get a nice stretch also. But this variation can be demanding for your back. Progress slowly and cautiously in this variation.

Low Lunge - Anjaneyasana

Low Lunge

  • Start in Mountain Pose.

  • Step your left foot forward three to four feet.

  • Bent your left knee and lower both hands and your right knee down to the floor. Place the top of your right foot flat on the floor.

From here, choose one of the variations below:


Variation 1 - Hands on the floor

  • Inhale and lift your upper torso as far as it will go without lifting your hands off the floor.

  • Posture tip

    Don't let the left knee go forward past your foot. If it does, increase the length of your stance. This is to avoid putting strain on your knee.

  • Press the chest forward and roll your shoulders back and down. If it is hard to keep your hands on the floor, place yoga blocks under each hand to allow your shoulders to be higher or use Variation 2 (below) instead. This will give more space for your chest.

  • Lengthen the spine and press down on the floor with your right foot and shin.

  • Sink the hips down to get a stretch in the front of the right thigh and the back of the left thigh.

  • To come out of the pose, tuck your right toes under and step forward. Roll all the way up.

Variation 2 - Hands on the knee

Low Lunge
  • As you inhale, lift your upper torso and bring both hands up on your left knee.

  • Open the chest forward and press your shoulders back and down.

  • Lengthen the spine and press down on the floor with your right foot and shin.

  • Sink the hips down to get a stretch in the front of the right thigh and the back of the left thigh.

  • To come out of the pose, lower the hands down to the floor, tuck your right toes under and step forward. Roll all the way up.

Posture tip

If it is difficult to keep your balance in Lunge Pose, practice next to a wall and place your elbow or finger tips (depending on which variation you chose) against the wall.

Variation 3 - Hands up

Low Lunge
  • As you inhale, lift your torso and reach up toward the ceiling with your hands, palms facing each other.

  • Open the chest forward and press your shoulders down, keeping the arms up.

  • Lengthen the spine and press down on the floor with your right foot and shin.

  • Sink the hips down to get a stretch in the front of the right thigh and the back of the left thigh.

  • To come out of the pose, lower the hands down to the floor, tuck your right toes under and step forward. Roll all the way up.

Variation 4 - Arched back

Low Lunge
Practice Lunge Pose with back bend. Follow the steps described in Variation 3, then:
  • Tuck your tailbone.

  • Clasp your hands or leave them at shoulder width. Try both and see which you prefer.

  • Reach back with both hands, following your hands with your eyes.

  • Keep the neck in line with the spine and not to drop the head back as this will compress the vertebras.

  • To come out of the pose, lower the hands down to the floor, tuck your right toes under and step forward. Roll all the way up.

If your spine is very supple, you might be able to bend pretty far back. But make sure to respect your body's limits. Be patient as you develop the strength that will allow you to support yourself and practice safely.

Main Target / Benefits
  • Stretches the back of the front thigh and the front of the back thigh.

  • Opens the hips.

  • Develops balance.

  • Strengthens the quadriceps.
Caution /Recommendation
  • Hamstrings injury: Use caution or wait until healed.

  • If balance is or can be an issue for you, practice next to a wall.