Yoga Poses

Runner’s Lunge Pose /Arda Mandalasana

Steps

Runner’s Lunge is often found in Sun Salutations and in preparation for a class with many standing lunges. It helps develop stability and flexibility in the lower body and prepares it for the Warrior poses.  Runner’s Lunge also increases stamina and strength in the arms, back, hips and legs.

Start in Mountain pose and inhale into Upward Salute pose. Exhale into a standing forward bend. Place both hands on the floor and step the right foot back, placing the ball of the foot on the floor and keeping the right leg straight. The left foot is between the hands, which are shoulder-width apart, palms flat on the floor. The left knee is directly over the left ankle.  Look forward, keeping the chin parallel with the floor and extending the spine. Take a breath and while exhaling, soften the groin and let it sink toward the floor.

To exit, either step the left foot back to meet the right foot, and bring the body into Plank pose, or step the right foot up and bring the body to Standing Forward Bend.  Repeat on the other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Imagine forming a straight line from the crown of the head to the heel of the back foot.

Technical Comments

Reach the heel back and the shin and chest forward. Sink the hips toward the floor. Keep the front knee over the ankle and not further forward.

Benefit Comments

  • Stretches groin
  • Helps relieve sciatica
  • Opens chest
  • Strengthens arms, legs and back
  • Prepares the lower body for standing lunges

Watch Out For:

  • Knee pain
  • Over-extension in groin area
  • Knee moving forward of ankle

Contraindications

  • Injury to knees
  • Neck Injury (see Modifications)

Modifications

  • When entering the pose, bend knees in Standing Forward Bend before stepping foot back.
  • Place hands on blocks to lessen the intensity of the stretch.
  • Keep the neck neutral or look down if neck pain is experienced.
  • Lower the knee of the extended leg to the mat and place a blanket under it.
  • Place a block under the extended knee or shin.

Variations

  • Lunge Twist: Lift the torso and place hands in prayer position. If the right foot is stepped back, bring the right elbow across the left knee so the left elbow is pointing toward the ceiling. Gaze toward the left elbow.
  • Crescent Lunge

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Extended Child’s
  • Downward Dog
  • Standing Forward Bend

Written By: Kristen Porter

Kristen Porter is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, studio owner www.ovcyoga.com, corporate attorney, wife and mom. Her passion is helping people realize their true strength and inner light by sharing wisdom learned through yoga, meditation and incorporating positive changes in her own life.

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