Below is an article that I wrote in collaboration with yoga instructor extraordinaire, Sonya Kuropatwa! It first appeared on the Made Free Yoga blog. I hope that you enjoy these tips for proper alignment in lunges. Stay tuned for the next in the sequence, proper alignment in Warrior II!
Proper alignment in asana practice is vital, especially in a seemingly basic pose like a lunge. Lunges form the foundation of many yoga postures such as crescent pose, reverse warrior, and extended side angle pose. With a strong foundation for lunges, you can develop a safer practice and better balance. Both open the door to more complex asanas and limitless possibilities!
Made Free Yoga instructor Sonya Kuropatwa and student Erica Rascon break down the basics of proper alignment in a lunge. For this example, we will use a lunge on the right side, with your left leg extended behind you.
“Plant your right foot firmly on the ground. Try to evenly share your weight between the heel and the ball of your foot. You should be able to lift your toes, spread them wide and re-ground them without your toes gripping the mat uncomfortably.
Bend your right knee so that your shin is perpendicular to the floor. Ideally, your thigh should rest parallel to the ground. If that is uncomfortable, allow for an upward angle from your knee to hip.”
“For your left foot, rest your weight on the ball of your foot, and extend through the heel. Straighten your left leg, lifting the knee upward until you feel a gentle stretch. If straightening your left leg causes discomfort, rest your knee on the ground.”
“Align your hips so that they are facing forward in the same direction as your right foot. Imagine that you’re balancing a ruler between the front points of your hip bones. Keep both points an equal distance from the front edge of your mat. Try to stabilize your weight evenly between the right and the left hip points.”
“Lift your chest upward so that it hovers slightly over your right thigh.
Rest your hands on the floor on either side of your right foot. If your hands do not comfortably rest on the ground, or if the chest is resting on the thigh, place your hands or fingertips on blocks.”
“Breathe. As your muscles relax, try to let your hips sink closer to the ground while maintaining lift in the front of the torso.”