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Posted by on Jan 7, 2017

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Nine. Lunge.

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Nine. Lunge.

Welcome to Day Nine. Today’s posture is Lunge, Anjaneyasana.

In Hindu mythology, Anjaneya is the mom of Hanuman, who famously leapt across the ocean to rescue Sita, wife of Rama, from abduction. The splits are named for Hanuman. His mom’s pose is much gentler on the hamstrings.

Anjaneyasana opens the hips and chest, stretches the groin and legs, lengthens the spine, and builds strength in the lower body. And it makes you feel like a wonderful Olympic runner in the starting blocks of your favorite race.

Enjoy the sequence we’ve shared to date, after several breaths in Downward-Facing Dog:

  • Inhale, step your right foot forward and place it firmly on the mat between your hands, keeping your right knee directly over your right ankle
  • Come up on to tented fingers
  • Lengthen through the back of your left leg and up your spine
  • Broaden the front of your chest
  • Reach the crown of your head toward the sky
  • Breathe
  • Stay here, or if you’d like more of a challenge,
  • Bring both hands to your front knee and find balance
  • On an inhale, sweep your arms out to the sides and up, as you lift your torso to upright
  • Keep your abs engaged as you lift your chest slightly, keeping your shoulders firmly on your back
  • Keep the back of your neck long as you take your gaze up to your hands
  • Hold here for several breaths
  • Exhale your hands back to frame your front foot on the mat
  • Step Back to Downward Dog
  • Do the other side

Finish in Downward Dog, lower yourself down to seated and then lie back into Savasana.

Here is today’s complete practice:

  • Take a comfortable seat
  • Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
  • Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
  • Notice deeply
  • Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
  • Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
  • Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
  • Come to Child’s pose, enjoy the effects of Kapalabhati
  • Come up to Table, then move with breath:  Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
    Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
  • Balancing Table (both sides)
  • Lower arm/leg back to Table
  • Exhale as you Push back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Inhale, Step forward to Standing Forward Fold
  • Exhale here
  • Inhale up to Tadasana, Mountain Pose
  • Sun Salutation (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Close your eyes, bring your hands together in Prayer Pose, Anjali Mudra, at the center of your chest
  • Breathe
  • Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold
  • Sun Breaths
  • Step back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Lunge (both sides)
  • Step back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Lower down to a comfortable sitting position
  • Lie back into Savasana