Runner’s lunge is Arda Mandalasana in Sanskrit. It is not just for runners as the name suggests however it is a pose that I like to do after a track workout because of the deep stretch it provides in the hip flexors. The hip flexors drive your leg forward and if they’re too tight, they’ll limit your extension thereby shortening your running gait. Tight hip flexors can also cause muscular imbalances and warp your posture.
Getting into the pose: There are different ways to get into runner’s lunge. Extending the leg back from standing forward fold or bringing the leg forward from downward dog are options. In this case, transitioning from standing forward fold, step the right leg back as your hands frame the front foot. Press into the ball of the right foot while extending the heel back and down to lengthen the calf muscles.
Alignment cues with right leg back: Keep left knee stacked over left ankle. Right leg is straight with muscles engaged and hips level. Spine is long and gaze is forward creating one line of energy from the crown of the head to the right heel. Engage the core muscles and use your hands to stabilize the pose and gently guide the sternum forward. BREATHE.
Stretches the hip flexors (upper groin area)
Strengthens the legs and arms
Develops strength and stability in the lower body
Relieves indigestion and constipation