Uttana Pristhasana II

Intermidate

Uttana Pristhasana II

Lizard Pose II

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

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

Spinal Movements:

Preparation

Sit in Vajrasana. Come into tabletop position – palms on the floor, wrists under shoulders, knees together, feet together flat on the floor. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Inhale. Exhaling, bring your right foot in between the hands. Slide the rear knee back slightly. Lower the left elbow down (elbow under the shoulder, forearm and palm flat on the floor). Then, bend your rear leg from the knee, raising the foot up behind you. Inhaling, reach your right hand behind your back, twisting your torso upward, and grab the top of your rear foot near the ankle. Roll your upper shoulder backward, push your rear foot back a little (keeping balance); pull your foot farther in the direction of the inside of your foot. Open your chest and look up. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, twist farther. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Inhale. Exhaling, slowly release your right hand, allow your rear foot to come back down to the floor. Untwist the spine to a neutral position. Lower your right hand to the outside of your front foot. Inhale. Exhaling, bring your front leg back into tabletop position. Sit into Vajrasana. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • Keep the abdomen strong throughout the practice for stability. Keep the chest open.
  • Make sure you are already feeling stable before grabbing your foot. Hold the top of foot near the ankle.
  • Do not pull the leg toward the hip. Instead, push away with leg muscles, stretching the thigh joint.
  • When twisting, do so while exhaling, until your shoulders are on top of each other.
  • Keep front foot flat on the floor for stability and to twist better.
  • Release the hand slowly when coming out to avoid hurting your leg.

Precautions

Avoid

If you suffer from chronic/serious shoulder, back, or knee problems.

Be careful

If you have sciatic nerve or lower back issues; or high blood pressure.

Benefits

General

  • Opens chest, hips, and pelvis.
  • stretches neck, shoulders, abdomen, hips, and hamstrings, front of thighs, knees, shins, and ankles
  • twists the spine.
  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, upper back, inner thighs, and hamstrings.
  • Improves blood circulation.
  • Prepares the body for deeper hip openers such as Pigeon Pose and Hanuman Pose.

Therapeutic

Variations

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