Anjaneyasana – Low Lunge Posture
Anjaneya is a Sanskrit word that means “Son of Anjani” and Anjayneya is also the childhood name of Hanuman. Hanuman is a primary character in the Hindu epic called the Ramayana. In the story, Hanuman is a brave, triumphant, and resourceful Army general. This posture evokes strength and energy, tones the physical body, and calms the mind.
- Begin in downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). On an exhale, step your right foot forward beside your right thumb. Stack your right knee over your right ankle. Lower your left knee to the floor.
- Inhale to reach your arms overhead with the crown of your head reaching upward, sides of body lengthening. Turn your palms toward one another and soften your shoulders down.
- As your tailbone points down towards the earth, lengthen your lower back, and draw your abdominal muscles inward for support.
- Stay here or create a gentle backbend as you lift your chest, head and gaze upwards.
- To release, place your hands down on the mat and step back into downward- facing dog. Repeat on the other side.
- Assists in building mental focus.
- Stretches hips, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
- Improves strength and flexibility in hips, glutes, legs, shoulders, arms, abdomen, back, and intercostal muscles.
- Stimulates the digestive and reproductive organs
- Opens up the shoulders, chest and intercostal muscles.
Contraindications and Cautions-
- High blood pressure.
- Knee injuries.
- Those with shoulder problems may place their hands on their front thigh.
- Those with neck or spinal injuries should not take the backbend, and should instead keep their spine in neutral with gaze forward.
Modifications and Adjustments-
- Place a folded blanket under the back knee for cushioning.
- If raising your arms overhead is uncomfortable, rest your hands on your front thigh instead.
- If looking up is uncomfortable, keep your gaze forward, keeping length in your cervical spine.
- If comfortable in your shoulders, palms can be placed together overhead in a prayer position for anjali mudra.
- To challenge your balance, try this posture with closed eyes.
Enjoy the practice of anjaneyasana while taking deep, smooth yogic breaths!