By Sage Rountree
Last month, we looked at a low-lunge position designed to bring balance to the hips through the range of motion needed for an efficient running stride and pedal stroke. This month, we’ll add on.
From a split-stance lunge, front shin parallel, let your hands slowly climb up to your front knee. Then settle back into the stretch, checking that it is a pleasant one and not too intense, especially in the front of the back-leg hip. Your front knee should track directly over your back toes, and your back leg should rest long down the mat.
If this feels steady, you can continue on by lifting both hands overhead. Keep your chest broad and your heart open as you gaze up toward the ceiling. For even more, turn the toes of the back leg under and lift the back knee off the ground as the back leg straightens.
Throughout, see how you can be most efficient. Can your front foot do less work? Can you relax in the back leg? Can you diffuse tension in your shoulders, your neck, your jaw, your forehead? Once you’ve released all the muscular tension you can, see where you might let go on a mental or even emotional level so you can feel lighter and more buoyant in this lunge.
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Sage Rountree, PhD, is Runner’s World’s expert on yoga for athletes and is the author of numerous books and articles on yoga and triathlon training. A USAT-certified coach, she is co-owner of the Carrboro Yoga Company (mycyco.com). Find her class, clinic, and workshop schedule, as well as many yoga and training resources, at sagerountree.com.