High Lunge Pose (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

High Lunge pose (Sanskrit: Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana) is both a hip stabilization and stretching posture.

The focus is primarily on the hip flexors while keeping the legs and trunk active. It is therefore a great preparatory posture to open the hips for deeper range of motion during your practice.

Also often called a Runner’s Lunge, this stretch is a great warm-up stretch for any activity.

For many people who live sedentary lifestyles or work in an office, High Lunge is a great way to work out tension in the hips after sitting all day. Tension in the hips can lead to back and hip pain and this posture works to counteract that tightness and stiffness.

It is important to be mindful of the knee placement (it should be directly over your ankle) in this position because if it is incorrect, it can cause more harm than good.

How to Do High Lunge Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

To move into this from a Downward Dog, step your right foot between your hands. If it doesn’t make it there right away, try to wiggle it forward. Make sure your front knee is stacked directly over your ankle. If you are having trouble getting it there, elevate your hands on 2 blocks placed at either side of your feet.

Step 2

Root down through the front foot and press strongly through the back heel. The back knee should be lifted off the mat with the quadriceps drawing in toward the hip. Both hips should be square pointing straight toward the front of the mat.

Step 3

Squeeze through the inner thighs and lift the belly muscles in. Keep the neck long.

High Lunge Pose Benefits

  • Strengthens lower body
  • Stretches hip flexors
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Great warm up pose