For people with tight quadriceps and hip flexors, performing a quadriceps stretch while kneeling in Anjaneyasana can be quite challenging. With all the right tools, though, anything is possible. Depending on your tightness level you may want yoga blocks, a blanket, and a strap. Here’s how to practice a quad stretch in Anjaneyasana.
Quad Stretch in Anjaneyasana
You can begin on your hands and knees or from a bent position with your fingertips touching the floor. Personally, I find starting from the latter position to be less awkward, so that’s how I’ll cue this.
Make sure to have all of your props nearby before you begin.
- Begin with your knees bent, finger pads touching either the floor beside your feet or blocks standing just to the outside of your feet.
- As you move, inhale and exhale where you need it, using ujjayi breathing.
- Reach your right leg back quite a distance so that you have a large space between your right and left feet. Make sure that your legs are running parallel to each other like they are on train tracks, not the same rail of a train track.
- Bend your right knee and lower it to the ground. If you are on a hard floor or if you have knee pain, slide a blanket under your knee to give you some cushion. Make sure the right leg is reaching behind you and slide forward of the right knee cap.
- Draw your belly button to your spine and lift your upper body. If you chose to use blocks, your fingertips will still be on them.
- Take a moment to put your hands on your hips to make sure that your pelvis is in neutral. Frequently, because of my tightness, it isn’t. To correct a tilted pelvis, lift up out of the pose a little bit, rotate your pelvis in neutral, re-engage your core muscles, then lower back into the low lunge.
- Start bending your right knee, allowing your foot to come up toward your bottom. If you want to use a yoga strap, loop it around your ankle now.
- Lift up out of your hips and move your left hand to your right block so that you have some stability as you reach your right hand for your ankle, foot, pant leg, or yoga strap.
- Once you feel like you have a good grip, start rotating your body back to center. Remember that you want your pelvis, ribs, and head to all face forward when you’re done.
- Hold here for 5-8 breaths.
- To switch sides, simply release your grip on the right leg. Curl the toes under on the right foot, and press back to Plank pose.
- Then, step your right leg forward and follow steps 1-11 for the left side.
Quad Stretch in Anjaneyasana Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
Do you have other tricks for people with tight quadriceps and hip flexors to practice this pose? If you do, let us know in the comments below.
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