Lunge & Twist
This fun yoga flow builds strength and mobility in the hips. Try using it as a ladder where you introduce a few poses at a time, repeating the previous poses before each new set.
Active Squat (Malasana Variation)
From standing, sink the hips down into a yogic squat (Malasana). Take a moment here to enjoy the passive hip opening. Then, engage the glutes and quads to lift the hips a few inches. This means that you are still in a squat, but you’re forcing the legs to actively carry more weight. Try to keep your weight in the heels, with the spine long and the chest shining forward.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana Variation)
From your active squat, shift your weight into the left foot. In a slow, controlled movement, hover then extend the right foot to the back of the mat. Try to keep the front leg bent (i.e. stay as low as possible) throughout the movement. Place the finger tips on the ground as you pull the shoulder blades back and shine the chest forward to lengthen the spine.
Lift the upper body as you straighten the front leg. Then, sink down into the back (right) leg, bringing your seat down towards your back heel. Try to remain grounded in the right heel, as you turn the toes of the front (left) foot upwards towards the ceiling. To modify, simply take a side lunge towards the back leg.
Skandansana, Right Side
Skandasana, Left Side
After holding for a few breaths on the right side, lift the body back through center and take the same position on the opposite side. As your seat sinks down, try to lift the chest and reduce the amount that the upper body leans forward.
Low Lunge Twist (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
Once again, lift through center. As you lift, rotate the body into a low lunge position facing the back of the mat. Plant the left hand on the inside of the right foot (the right leg is now bent in your lunge), and lift the right hand upwards towards the ceiling so that the mid-body comes into a gentle twist.
Twisted Reverse Warrior (Parivrtta Viparita Virabhadrasana)
Remain twisted with the legs solidly grounded and engaged. Then, use the core to lift the upper body until you’re in an upright twist. Begin to lean the upper body back as you place the right hand on the back of the left leg and extend the left arm up overhead into a Twisted Reverse Warrior position. Keep the navel pulled in and the spine long as you twist.
Extended Side Angle Variation (Utthita Parsvakonasana Variation)
Untwist and spiral the arms to Warrior II with the right arm forward (as a transition). Then, place the back of your right hand on your lower back and lean the upper body forward, bringing the right elbow onto the inside of your right thigh. This will bring your front arm into an intense internal rotation (stretching your external rotator muscles). Reach the left arm overhead into an Extended Side Angle position.
Reverse Triangle (Viparita Trikonasana)
Release the front arm and return to Warrior II. Then, straighten the front leg and reach the right (front) arm up and backwards overhead. The left hand can come to the back of the left leg, and the gaze can follow the right fingertips. Create one long energetic line from your front toes to the lifted hand.
From Reverse Triangle, reach the lifted arm forward (towards the back of your mat since you are still facing backwards). When you can't reach forward any further, allow the arm to come down either onto the floor (inside or outside of the leg), the top of the shin, or with the “peace fingers” around the big toe. Rotate at the mid-body so the shoulders stack as you lift your opposite arm up towards the ceiling.
Lift the body up out of Triangle pose. Spiral the arms as you bend into the front leg so that the left (back) arm plants near the right (front) foot, bringing you back into your twisted low lunge. However, instead of stopping in your twisted lunge, continue to twist as you come onto the outside edges of both feet. After, untwist and step into a forward fold (still facing the back of the mat). Sink back down into your squat and the sequence on the opposite side to return to a forward facing position.