UTTHITA ASHWA SANCHALANĀSANA (उत्थित अश्व सन्छलनासन)
(oot-HEE-tah osh-wah sahn-chal-ANAH-sah-nah)
‘Utthita’= extended, stretched, or raised, ‘Ashva’= horse,
‘Sanchalana’= stepping movement or lunge, ‘āsana’= posture
High Runner’s Lunge
Extended Equestrian Pose
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Standing / Forward-Bend / Stretch / Balance / Hip Opener
• Ahead and slightly down at a 45-degree angle toward the mat
1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your legs slightly apart (about hip distance), keeping your back straight, your shoulders and arms down, and your palms facing forward. Raise your arms above your head and then bend at the hips into a forward bend. Place your hands with tee-pee fingers on the mat and slightly bend your knees.
2. Step your right leg straight back, in line with the right hip, and into a lunge. Keep your foot flexed so that it rests on the ball of the foot. Spread your toes to root down through the ball of your foot.
3. Place your hands on either side of your left foot (either palms flat to the mat or on tee pee finders). Make sure that your left foot is pointed to the front, perpendicular to your hands, with your knee stacked over your ankle.
4. Square your hips to the floor and straighten your back and your back leg. Be sure not to hyperextend your knee. Gaze down slightly and focus on aligning your spine so that you have a straight line from the crown of your head down to your right heel. Extend through your right heel to lengthen your leg.
5. Sink into your hips, deepening the stretch, without losing the alignment in your spine and front knee.
6. Draw your shoulder blades together, opening your chest, and broadening your shoulders.
7. Breathe deeply and feel the stretch throughout your back and legs.
8. Hold for several breaths (about 20 seconds to increase strength and flexibility) and breath smoothly.
9. When you are ready, release the pose and slowly come back to Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
10. Repeat on the other side.
• Back foot not straight and aligned with the hips
• Back foot not on balls of feet
• Hips not squared to the mat
• Front knee extended past the ankle and/or toes
• Over-extension in groin area
• Strained neck or shoulders tense and up to the ears
• Arms too far forward, back, or out to the side
• Front foot not pointed forward
• Trouble balancing or leaning to either side
• Spine arched or not in line from the crown to the back heel
• Students with discomfort in the front knee can place a folded mat or blanket under the ball of the foot or the heel.
• Students with tight hips and/or psoas can move their front foot out to the side so that their hips can move forward.
• Students with tight hamstrings and/or calf muscles, or have difficulty reaching the floor, can either: a) place their hands-on blocks, b) lower their back leg to the floor to perform Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Aekpaadprasarnaasana), or c) they can place a block under the extended legs knee.
• Students who need assistance with balance, or have tight calf muscles, can practice with the heel of their back foot against a wall or can place a blanket or folded mat under the heel for support.
• Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana)
• Extended Child’s Pose (Utthita Balasana)
• Forward Bend, Standing (Uttanasana)
• Half Forward Bend, Standing (Ardha Uttanasana)
• Plank (Phalakasana)
• Split Pose (Hanumanasana)
• Chest (Pectoralis Major and Minor) • Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Abdomen (Core) • Lower Back (Lumbar) and Spine
• Hips (Psoas) • Gluteus Maximus
• Biceps and Triceps • Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Calf muscles • Knees
• Ankles • Feet
• Stretches and strengthens the chest, abdomen, back, arms, hips, groin, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders, knees, and ankles.
• Opens the hips.
• Releases tension in the hips and glutes, which can be therapeutic for students with sciatic and arthritic pain, as well as reduces stiffness around the neck and shoulders.
• Improves joint health by flexing the knees, ankles, and hips.
• Improves balance and focus and develops will power and confidence, which stimulates the mind. This also balances the nervous system, which helps with insomnia.
• Improves endurance and stability.
• Improves the Respiratory System and the Circulatory System by opening the chest and breathing through the diaphragm, which is therapeutic for students with asthma.
• Improves the function of internal organs, which stimulates the digestive system and reproductive system.
1. Students with severe neck, knee and/or hip injury or have low or high blood pressure, or have heart complications, should avoid this pose.
2. Students with neck, shoulder, knee and/or hip discomfort should practice with modifications and/or props and proper guidance.
• Mula Bandha