Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana) is an intermediate to advanced yoga pose for opening the hips and stretching and strengthening the hamstrings. Here’s how to do it – plus a few modifications for beginners…
People like me who sit at a computer for most of the day can end up with tight hips. This is a problem because tightness in your hips impacts other areas of your body – e.g. your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back – and can even lead to chronic pain conditions. That’s why I looove hip-opening poses such as Lizard Pose!
Lizard Pose is an intermediate-to-advanced yoga pose that helps to stretch your inner thighs and hip joints. The graphic below illustrates how to do this awesome pose, as well as a few modifications for beginners or those with extra tight hips.
Keep in mind that you should always pay attention to what your body is telling you in any yoga pose. Don’t force it – especially when it comes to joints such as the hips!
Feel free to stay up on your hands with your palms flat on the mat – there is no need to come down into the full pose on your elbows unless you want to and are flexible enough. If you do want to try it, start with 5 full deep breaths on your hands with arms straight, then try moving deeper into the pose by bending your elbows slightly. In time, with practice, you can work your way into the full pose (bottom image).
You can also modify this pose with the back knee on the floor, which can be helpful for those with tight hamstrings, or you can place your elbows on a block or bolster.
Also keep in mind that this is a deep pose, so you should warm up your hips first with a few gentle hip stretches and lunges.
Image Source: YogaGypsy.com