Sanskrit Name: Anjanaya asana
English Name: The Salutation Pose
The Sanskrit word anjaneya means salutation or praise from the root anj which means to honor, to celebrate, to anoint. This is a great pose for athletes. It treats the typical sources of lower-body soreness, especially in runners: tight quads, hamstrings, and hips. Low Lunge may seem simple at first, but there are a plethora of benefits to this posture. If you are having trouble balancing, try practicing this pose facing a wall. Press the big toe of the front foot against the wall and stretch your arms up, fingertips to the wall if necessary.
- Sit comfortably in the vajra-asana (thunderbolt pose).
- Kneel up on your knees until your back, buttocks and thighs are aligned.
- Extend your left foot foward bending your left knee at about a 90 degree angle.
- Place the palms of your hands together at the heart in the anjali-mudra.
- Raise your arms stright up keeping the palms together while bending the head backward and looking up.
- Slowly bend backward stretching the arms backward and straightening out the right leg. Hold this position for as long as comfortable while breathing gently through the nostrils.
- Come back to the vajara-asana (thunderbolt pose) then reverse the posture by alternating legs.
- Repeat twice on each side.
The anjaneya-asana combines several postures and mudras (gestures) in a fluid, evolving flow that combines motion, stretching and holds. It delivers great benefits for the back, arms, chest, legs and hips. Regular practice will strengthen concentration and improve balance. Perform this posture with a sense of reverence and praise. Take a moment to reside in silence and peace as your hands are held at the heart in the gesture (mudra) of salutation (anjali-mudra). Keep the intention of praise in mind as you extend your arms skyward. Feel your entire body-mind-heart extending outward in recognition of the sacredness of life.
Benefits of Anjanaya Asana
- Releases tension in your hips
- Stretches your hamstrings, quads, and groin
- Strengthens your knees
- Helps build mental focus