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Lizard Pose (October Posture of the Month)

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One of the hippest asanas around, Lizard Pose gets into the strong ligaments and muscles of the hips and pelvis. The hips are the hub of the body, connecting the upper body and the legs. Ancient yogis name this location in our bodies as the resting place of kundalini-shakti energy. When our hips are strong, balanced and flexible, they are the foundation for a yoga practice and a life that hold those same qualities.

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The sanskrit for this posture is Utthan Pristhasana. Utthan translates to “stretching out” and Pristha means “back of the body.” An alternate translation of Pristha is “page of a book,” an apt description as we are said to hold many of our leftover emotion in our hips. Some yoga teachers call our hips the “junk drawer” of our emotional body — as in, if we don’t know where to place an experience or emotion then we bury in our hips. Lizard Pose offers us a way to reread the previous pages of our lives and do a little editing by releasing what doesn’t serve us anymore.


Getting into the pose:
From Down Dog, bring your right foot to the pinky finger side of your right hand. Both arms should now be inside your right leg. For a yang hold of this posture, keep your left knee off the ground. For a more restorative version, uncurl the toes and drop your back knee.

Depending on your hip flexibility, you will either support your upper body on your hands or forearms. Go slowly as these are strong supportive muscles and tendons you are asking to soften. Sink the hips down while maintaining an equal weight distribution there as well as an evenness in your shoulders. Don’t collapse the chest — keep your chin up and shine your heart forward elongating the spine. Breathe.


Benefits:
Opens the hips, hamstrings, groin and hip flexors
Strengthens the inner thigh muscles on the front leg

Prep poses:
Child’s Pose
Warrior 1&2

Where to go next:
Pigeon
Hanumanasana

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