Uttana Pristhasana I

Intermidate

Uttana Pristhasana I

Lizard Pose I

(ut-ta-na-pris-ta-sun)

Meaning: uttana = intense stretching / pristha =back part of the body

Preparation

Sit into Vajrasana, then come into tabletop position – hands shoulder-distance apart, knees together, feet together. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Inhale. Exhaling, bring your right foot in between your hands (bending the front knee to 90 degrees). Tuck your back toes under your foot, and lift your rear knee up, straightening your rear leg, and push your rear heel back. Bring both hands to the inside of your front leg. Inhale. Exhaling, lower your outside elbow down, then bring your inside elbow down and interlock your fingers, keeping your front knee close to your torso and front heel fully on the floor. Keep both hips square. Keep the rear leg straight and strong. Keep spine straight, head in-line with your spine, and look forward. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, stretch farther. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Release the hands. Exhale. Inhaling, straighten your inside arm first to take pressure off your front leg, then straighten your outside arm. Bring your inside arm back to the outside of your front foot. Inhale. Exhaling, bring your front leg back to your rear leg. Lower your knees back into tabletop position. Sit into Vajrasana. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • Distribute your body weight equally to both arms. Try to minimize the amount of your body weight on the front leg.
  • Keep front knee next to your torso. Do not let it lean away from the shoulder.
  • Straighten spine (do not hunch).
  • Keep head above spinal height.
  • Activate rear leg, heel pushed back, activating the abdominal muscles.
  • Keep the shoulders away from the ears.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have chronic/serious shoulder problems.

Be careful

If you have sciatic nerve, neck, hip, or lower back issues.

Benefits

General

  • Opens shoulders, hips, and pelvis.
  • stretches hips, buttocks, hamstrings, calf muscles, Achilles tendon (back of ankle).
  • Strengthens inner thighs and toes.
  • Prepares the body for deeper hip openers such as Pigeon Pose and Hanuman Pose.

Therapeutic

Helps to reduce back pain and improves the function of kidneys and liver.

Variations

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