Lift and reach as you stretch your hips, spine, and more in Equestrian Pose…
Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) – also known as Horse Riding Pose – is a variation on Runner’s Pose or Low Lunge Pose. This pose offers a slightly deeper stretch for the hips and spine, and is a great hip-opener to do before moving into more advanced hip-opening poses.
Along with your hips, this pose also stretches your groin, chest, arms, shoulders, back, thighs, and hamstrings, and strengthens the legs, hips, ankles, and feet. It is also believed to massage and stimulate the digestive organs, energize the body, calm the mind, and improve mental focus.
Although this is a beginner pose, you should avoid it if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, or severe knee, neck, or back injuries.
How to Do Equestrian Pose:
1. Begin in Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog.
2. Inhale and lift your right leg up. Point your toes towards the ceiling and keep your knees straight.
3. Exhale bring your right foot in between your palms. Rest your foot evenly on the ground and bend your right knee at a 90 degrees angle. Your right foot, shin and knee should be in one straight line. If possible, try to make your right thigh parallel to the ground. Your left heel will automatically point towards the ceiling. Try not obstruct your overall movement. Alignment is very important in Yoga to maximize the benefits of the Asanas.
4. Slowly place your left knee on the floor. Place the upper part of your feet and toes on the floor.
5. Inhale and lift your torso up. Keep your back straight and gaze forward.
6. Arch your spine, tilt your head back slightly and open your chest to the sky. Make sure your fingers are touching the floor and your elbows are straight.
7. Variation: If you wish to enhance the stretch, raise your hands over your head, arching slightly backward as you lift your heart towards the sky.
8. Focus in between your eyebrows.
9. Stay in this pose for 3 long breaths.
10. Come out of the pose by placing both palms on the ground and lifting up into Downward Facing Dog.
11. Repeat on the other side.
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