PRACTICE LOW LUNGE/HIGH LUNGE
Change happens. Sometimes we’re expecting it, as with the change of the seasons. And sometimes we’re not, as with a flat tire on our way to work. Either way, change can happen quickly, throwing us off balance.
Autumn is a time when change, both big and small, is happening all around us. In the natural world we can see the daylight hours lessen, the leaves change color and fall, the temperature drop. In our lives, our schedule may change, clothing choices, food choices, responsibilities.
All of these things impact our mood and physical bodies. Bringing awareness to your personal transition can help you ease stress and cultivate a strong mind and body. You can also recognize times when you may need to give yourself a little extra attention, whether it be more rest, relaxation or time outside.
Try this yoga practice to help you cultivate strength and awareness during transitions. Practicing steadiness and strength to stay balanced as you transition on the mat will help you do the same off the mat.
1 – Come into low lunge from either table top position or adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog pose). The front knee is lined up over the ankle and the top of the back foot is on the floor. Hands can either reach up overhead or rest just above the knee on the front leg. Either way, keep the arms lengthened and strong
2 – Breathe here in low lunge for 5-10 breaths. Feel both feet pressing into the support of the floor, the tailbone dropping and the spine lengthening as you gently tone your low belly and your hips open
3 – To transition, keep the length of the spine and the tone of the low belly as you tuck the toes of your back foot. As you inhale, press through the heel of the back foot, straightening the leg as you rise up to high lunge
4 – Breathe here in high lunge for 5-10 breaths. Reach through the back heel, feeling the whole leg strong and lifting toward the ceiling. Use the strength of both legs to work toward squaring the hips forward
5 – To transition back to low lunge, keeping the front leg strong, lift your back heel to come high onto the ball of the foot and slowly bend the knee as you lower down
6 – Transition between low lunge and high lunge with the breath 2-5 times on each side. Afterwards, go into balasana (child’s pose) to feel the effects of your practice