Published on September 12th, 2022 | by Catherine Tingey0
Low Lunge Side Bend
Low Lunge Side Bend
Low Lunge Side Bend is one of my favorite compound stretches.
It truly is a yoga pose for everyone.
It can be tuned up or down, varied with wrist holds, and modified with pads under the knees and/or blocks under the hands for stability.
Another big reason I love Low Lunge Side Bend is that it’s more accessible to the general population than a side bend from a standing lunge position (CRESCENT POSE).
I consider Low Lunge Side Bend a foundational pose — so much to offer with little risk of injury.
Let’s look at the primary benefits to this posture.
Stretches hips (hip flexors and psoas)
Lengthens side body (QL – Quadratus Lumborum, Latissimus Dorsi, Serratus Anterior, Obliques)
Lengthens intercostal muscles thereby improving breathing
Boosts spinal flexibility
Relieves mild low back pain
Low Lunge Side Bend counteracts long hours of sitting like another pose I recently wrote about, Pinwheel Twist.
From a LOW LUNGE position, align your front knee directly on top of the ankle.
Make sure your front foot and back knee are separated L to R by 6-12″ for stability.
Release your right arm down. (Use a block or rest on your thigh, if needed).
Inhale as you lift the left arm and gently press the left knee down.
Exhale side bend to the right.
**For tender knees, pad the bent knee with a pillow, folded blanket or my favorite – the Airex pad.
** For anyone needing balance assistance, place a block at the tallest setting under the stabilizing hand.
TO DEEPEN THE POSE
- Add a low block under the front foot
- Before you side bend, engage the back knee and front foot as if you were bringing them towards each other, then side bend.
- Practice this pose on a set of stairs (my fave!)
For a mini-sequence, extend the front leg straight by reaching the hip crease away from foot, and fold with a long spine over the leg. This is KNEELING PYRAMID.
After these 2 asymmetrical poses, it’s ideal to follow with a neutral pose.
Intermediate – DOWNWARD FACING DOG