Monday, September 30, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Yoga Runner’s Lunge Captured in Kauai

Release tightness in the hips and low back, stretch the hamstrings and the thighs in Runner’s Lunge. We tend to carry a lot of emotional baggage and tightness in the area of the hips unless we give the hips daily attention. Take the time to lunge into this pose to release negative and “stored-up” emotions. Be patient with the body as it takes time to release physical tightness. Notice what emotions arise without judgement and then make a conscious awareness to release and let-go.  Walk away feeling a little bit lighter with more bounce in your step, and notice the physical and mental release.

How to do runner’s lunge: From a tabletop (on hands and knees) or from downward facing dog, on an inhale breath, kick the right leg high behind you. On an exhale sweep the leg all the way through to a lunge, bringing the foot to the right side of the palms. Toe heel the right foot to the upper right edge of your mat or so that your right foot is in front of the right ankle (important to protect the knee joint). Roll the foot open to the knife-edge of the right foot for a variation if it feels good and honors your body.

The left leg can stay active, the knee can stay lifted off of the ground for a more active stretch or the left knee can rest on the earth (like in the picture). Stay lifted on the palms or use one or more blocks for support. Lower to the forearms if it feels okay in the body. Maintain the breath, find a calmness and steadiness on every inhale and exhale. Allow the head and neck to relax. Close the eyes and turn the focus inward towards the heart. Hold the postures for 3-5 full-rounds of breath, inhales and exhales, and repeat on the other side.

Notice how on an inhale, the body feels invigorated and energized, and on an exhale, the body softens and relaxes. Runner’s lunge is an active resting posture. Notice how if you continue finding a balance of ease and effort in the breath, the mind starts to calm and the physical tightness begins to slowly release. Visualize the breath and send the exhale to the tight areas that may need time to open.

When we take the time to focus on our breath and make a conscious effort to listen to our bodies, we release negativity and baggage that does not serve us in our yoga practice or in our daily lives. We move through the day with more ease and happiness. In this pose, allow your yoga practice to work for you, rather than having to work for yoga’s benefits. The work constitutes being patient and present, while the body relaxes. Breath and release stress, creating space in the body and in the mind.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga is located in Clairemont, San Diego, in the Mount streets. Contact for more info. Go to for class schedule and privates.

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