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HomeYogaAll About Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana): Step-by-Step Directions, Modifications, and Variations

All About Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana): Step-by-Step Directions, Modifications, and Variations

Is there something higher than a deep stretch after an intense exercise, or a protracted day of sitting? For those who really feel such as you want some launch in your life, then Lizard Pose is a posture you must undoubtedly embody in your yoga apply!

Lizard Pose, or Utthan Pristhasana, is an intermediate yoga pose which targets the hips, hamstrings, and glutes. It presents a fairly intense stretch, and would possibly even be used as a peak pose in some hip opening yoga sequences. Lizard Pose can be generally used as a preparatory pose for extra intense hip openers or hamstring stretches, resembling Pigeon or the Splits.

Its Sanskrit title presents a primary description of the pose: utthan, that means stretched out, pristha, referring to the again of the physique, and asana or pose. This translation illustrates the lengthy line of the physique in a lunge place, from the again heel to the highest of the pinnacle. In English, we name this stretch Lizard Pose (or generally Gecko Pose), because it resembles a lizard stretched out, sunning itself.

So many individuals start a yoga apply hoping to turn into extra versatile, or enhance their mobility. Training Lizard Pose is without doubt one of the greatest methods to realize these objectives because it brings size to the entire physique and brings launch to generally tense muscle teams.

Advantages of Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

Together with enhancing general flexibility, there are numerous different advantages Lizard Pose offers. Simply specializing in the bodily physique for a second, listed here are some particular musculoskeletal results of Lizard Pose:

  • Strengthens shoulders
  • Lengthens and releases hip flexors, lowering decrease again ache
  • Stretches the stomach muscle tissues
  • Reverses adverse results of sitting for lengthy intervals
  • Stretches and strengthens the glutes and backbone, enhancing posture
  • Prevents muscle stiffness after intense bodily actions like operating

As with many different intense poses, the constructive affect of Lizard or Gecko Pose goes a lot deeper. This pose presents a number of inner, energetic, and psychological advantages as properly. With common apply, Lizard Pose:

  • Stimulates inner organs
  • Tones and prompts reproductive organs
  • Stimulates creativity by focusing on the sacral chakra in decrease stomach
  • Releases stress

Regardless that your yoga instructor will doubtless discuss with Lizard as a hip opener, it clearly is a tremendous yoga pose on your total physique!

The way to do Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

In case you are hoping to concentrate on flexibility, you’ll doubtless encounter Lizard Pose within the yoga sequences you select to apply. To make certain you perceive the correct alignment of Lizard Pose, comply with these step-by-step directions.

  1. Start in Downward Dealing with Canine Pose: deliver your physique into the form of an upside-down V, along with your fingers planted at a shoulder-width distance, center fingers pointing ahead.
    Your toes ought to be separated at a hip-width distance. Press your chest towards your thighs as you attain your tailbone up in direction of the sky. Maintain a gentle bend in your knees in case your hamstrings are tight, to make sure you hold size in your backbone as you press your heels towards the ground.
  2. Out of your Downward Canine, carry your proper leg and step your proper foot towards the highest proper nook of your yoga mat, to the surface of your proper hand.
  3. Align your proper knee over the ankle, and press your hips ahead as you bend into your proper leg, coming right into a runner’s lunge place.
  4. Conserving your again toes tucked, and align your left heel over the toes of your left foot. Maintain your hips squared off (take into consideration drawing your left hip ahead, proper hip again).
  5. Keep on this runner’s lunge place along with your arms straight if you’re already feeling a deep stretch in your hips.
  6. After a pair breaths, attempt to decrease your self right down to your elbows. Press your forearms and palms into the ground, as you’d in Forearm Plank Pose.
  7. Gaze ahead and down, simply past your fingers, maintaining the again of the neck in a cushty place.
  8. Press into your again heel to maintain your prolonged left leg energetic.
  9. Keep in your fullest expression of Lizard Pose for 5-10 breaths. When you find yourself prepared to come back out of the pose, first plant your fingers beneath your shoulders and straighten your arms. Then, step your proper foot again to return to Down Canine.
  10. Keep in Downward Canine for a number of breaths.
  11. Repeat Lizard Pose in your different facet, stepping your left foot ahead.

For those who’d wish to comply with together with a visible demonstration and audio directions, try this brief Lizard Pose tutorial:


In case you are experiencing any of the next medical points, you must apply a extra mild hip opener, or use a modification for Utthan Pristhasana. Skip Lizard Pose or attempt a modification detailed under when you’ve had latest damage or surgical procedure to your knee, hip, or weak shoulders. Moreover, when you’ve got extreme decrease again ache or intense sciatica, you must attempt a much less intense hip stretch.

The way to Modify Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

As with many yoga poses, there are methods to change Lizard Pose with the intention to suit your particular person stage. Do not forget that the aim is to launch your glutes, hips, and hamstrings; if you’re very tight, a modified model of Lizard Pose could be sufficient to provide the meant stretch. Listed here are a number of methods you would possibly make this pose extra accessible to you in your yoga apply:

Utilizing Yoga Props

  • Yoga blocks: when you can’t fairly get your forearms to the ground however need to deepen your stretch, place one yoga block underneath every forearm to separate the distinction to the ground.
  • Blanket: to keep away from discomfort in your prolonged leg while you decrease it to the ground, place a folded blanket underneath again knee.

Half Glad Child Pose as a Modified Lizard

Lizard is without doubt one of the extra intense poses for opening the hips. In case you are simply starting to work on flexibility and vary of movement, attempt Half Glad Child Pose. Curiously, you’ll discover that your physique is mainly in the identical place as Lizard Pose flipped upside-down. So, you would possibly consider Half Glad Child as a much less intense supine (laying down) model of the identical stretch! Fairly cool, proper?

This additionally an excellent possibility for you when you’ve had a latest shoulder or wrist damage and can’t put weight in your fingers.

  1. Start mendacity in your again along with your knees bent and toes planted on the ground.
  2. Convey your proper knee in to your chest. Open your leg to the facet, so your knee is pointing towards your armpit.
  3. Then, take your foot towards the sky. Together with your proper hand, take ahold of your proper ankle, or grip your foot from the periphery.
  4. Maintain your proper foot flexed and use the power of your arm to regularly pull your knee nearer to the ground, to the surface of your physique.
  5. Prolong your left leg all the way in which alongside the ground, so your hip flexors lengthen.
  6. Maintain your Half Glad Child pose for as much as 10 breaths, then launch your leg gently down into Savasana and relaxation.
  7. When you find yourself prepared, reset along with your knees bent and toes planted, and repeat Half Glad Child Pose in your left facet.

Lizard Pose Variations

Able to take your Lizard Pose to the following stage? Add a quad stretch, shoulder opener, or arm stability with these superior variations!

Twisted Lizard Pose

It is a juicy variation of Lizard Pose that provides a quad stretch, spinal twist, in addition to a chest and shoulder opener.

  1. From Downward Dealing with Canine Pose, deliver your left leg ahead, stepping your left foot to the surface of your left hand.
  2. As you press your hips ahead, gently decrease your proper knee to the ground.
  3. Maintain your fingers planted on the ground along with your arms straight.
  4. Spin your left toes out about 45-degrees and drop down onto the outer fringe of your left foot, letting your entrance knee fall open to the facet.
  5. Bend your proper leg, curling your proper foot in direction of your glutes.
  6. Attain your left arm again and catch your proper foot in your hand. Maintain your proper arm straight, urgent your palm into the ground.
  7. Create resistance by kicking your proper foot into your left hand, as you attempt to pull your foot in direction of your glutes. With this resistance, open throughout your chest and the entrance of your left shoulder, twisting your higher physique to your left facet.
  8. Maintain your Twisted Lizard Pose for a number of deep breaths. If you’re able to exit the pose, gently let go of your again foot and decrease it gently to the ground. Launch your twist and plant each fingers instantly beneath your shoulders to maneuver again into Down Canine.
  9. After a number of breaths in Downward Dealing with Canine, repeat your Twisted Lizard in your different facet, this time bringing the fitting leg ahead and twisting open to the fitting.

Certain Lizard Pose

Follow stability and stability whereas opening your chest and shoulders with a bind within the higher physique. This Lizard Pose variation can even enable you to work your method as much as Flying Lizard!

  1. Convey your self into an energetic model of Lizard Pose: hold your palms on the ground and floor down by means of the entrance foot whereas urgent out by means of the again heel and carry the kneecap of your again leg to interact your leg muscle tissues.
  2. Convey your same-side shoulder to your entrance knee. Wrap your arm underneath your entrance thigh.
  3. Attain your reverse arm throughout your decrease again and join your fingers behind you.
  4. Have interaction your core and squeeze along with your inside thigh muscle tissues to take care of stability in your bind. Maintain size within the backbone by reaching the crown of the pinnacle ahead.
  5. Maintain your bind for 3-5 breaths, then launch and return to Downward Dealing with Canine. Then, repeat Certain Lizard Pose in your second facet.

Flying Lizard Pose

For those who’re wanting so as to add a brand new pose into your yoga apply, do that superior Lizard Pose variation! Flying Lizard is an arm stability that can strengthen your higher physique and core.

  1. Come into normal Lizard Pose, along with your palms on the ground.
  2. Carry the heel of your entrance foot. Bend your elbows and work your same-side shoulder underneath your entrance knee.
  3. Create a shelf along with your arms, elbows bent at a couple of 90-degree angle. Your higher physique shall be ready just like Chaturanga.
  4. Carry your again knee from the ground. Have interaction your stomach muscle tissues by pulling the navel in and up.
  5. Start to shift your weight ahead into your fingers. Bend your entrance leg, squeezing your entrance foot in in direction of your physique so your entrance toes are hovering a number of inches above the ground.
  6. Set your gaze in entrance of you as you proceed to shift your weight ahead, underneath your again leg floats off of the ground.
  7. Maintain your breath regular and stability for a number of breaths. Then, gently place your prolonged leg again on the ground and and return to Down Canine, or Little one’s Pose to relaxation your arms. If you’re prepared, repeat Flying Lizard Pose in your different facet.

Preparatory Poses to Heat Up for Lizard Pose

For such a deep hip stretch, so that you’ll need to be correctly warmed up earlier than you apply Lizard Pose. The next yoga poses will enable you to stretch your legs and open your hips regularly in preparation for Utthan Pristhasana.

Downward Dealing with Canine

Downward Dealing with Canine Pose lengthens the again of your legs in addition to your backbone, and shall be your beginning place for transferring into Lizard Pose. To overview correct alignment, try our Downward Canine Pose information!

Certain Angle Pose

Certain Angle or Butterfly Stretch is a necessary heat up for Lizard Pose that opens up your hips and inside thighs. To go a bit deeper, apply the Certain Angle ahead bend variation. Check out our Certain Angle Pose breakdown to be taught extra!

Cradle Pose

Earlier than you apply Lizard Pose, this stretch will assist gently open your inside thighs, hamstrings, and hips.

  1. Start seated in Straightforward Pose, along with your legs folded in. Sit as tall as you possibly can along with your backbone straight.
  2. Attain down along with your proper arm and choose up your left leg. Convey your left foot into the crux of your proper elbow.
  3. Wrap your left arm across the exterior of your left knee, cradling your left leg in each fingers.
  4. Slowly and gently, start to rock your leg proper to left throughout the entrance of your physique, as if you’re rocking a child in your arms.
  5. After 7-10 breaths, launch your leg and punctiliously place it again right down to the ground.
  6. Repeat Cradle Pose in your different facet, selecting up your proper foot.

Observe Up Poses to Follow After Lizard Pose

Working in your decrease physique flexibility? Attempt these follow-up stretches after working towards Lizard Pose!

Pigeon Pose

Sure, Lizard Pose is a deep stretch on your hips — but it surely additionally makes use of engagement of the leg muscle tissues. In case you are aiming to extend your flexibility, attempt working towards Pigeon Pose afterwards. This may enable your glutes and hips absolutely launch into a good deeper stretch. Observe the step-by-step directions in our Pigeon Pose information for correct alignment!

Head to Knee Pose

Since your inside thighs and hamstrings shall be good and open after Lizard Pose, you would possibly attempt one other decrease physique stretch like Head to Knee Pose.

  1. Start in Workers Pose, sitting tall with each legs prolonged in entrance of you.
  2. Bend your left knee, folding your leg in. Place your left foot to the within of your proper thigh.
  3. Pull your proper toes again in direction of you, flexing your proper foot.
  4. Breathe in and attain your arms up over your head as you develop taller by means of your backbone.
  5. As you exhale, fold over your outstretched leg as you attain your arms ahead to your shine, ankle, or foot.
  6. Maintain this ahead bend anyplace from 5-10 breaths, then return to an upright seated place. Straighten your left knee to return to Workers Pose. Then, repeat Head to Knee pose in your different facet.

Frequent Questions About Lizard Pose

What’s the distinction between Lizard Pose and Low Lunge Pose?

The primary distinction between a lunge and Lizard Pose is within the placement of the entrance foot. In Low Lunge pose, you deliver your foot ahead between your fingers, whereas in Lizard, your entrance foot is positioned to the surface of that hand.

Some yoga instructors might cue the again leg straight with the again knee lifted in both pose, otherwise you would possibly select to position the again knee down.

What if I can’t place my forearms on the ground?

Keep in mind the intention of the pose is to open and launch the hip flexors, hamstrings, and glutes. So long as you’re feeling the meant stretch, attempt to not fear a lot about what the pose seems like. By no means hesitate to attempt a modification with the intention to make the yoga pose be just right for you and your physique!

Ought to my again be rounded or straight in Lizard Pose?

You must attempt to hold your backbone so long as potential in Lizard, fairly than rounding over. This would possibly imply you must use a modification, like maintaining your palms planted and arms straight, or inserting blocks underneath your forearms.

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