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January 19, 2015

Stretch Back & Shoulders with the Asymmetrical Lunge.

AsymmetricalLunge04-www.RicardoDasNeves.com

Our Special of the day: Deep Lunge and Twist.

Then feel your back, your hips, your shoulders, your wrists and well, just about everything else get in on the action. It’s a mini-yoga session in one pose.

In just four steps:

AsymmetricalLunge01-www.RicardoDasNeves.com

1. Drop into a lunge with your hands on either side of your front foot, in this case starting with the right foot. Hands can be on the floor, but they could also be on a couple of yoga blocks in your hips feel a little stiff. Take three slow breaths in this pose.

AsymmetricalLunge02-www.RicardoDasNeves.com

2. Spin the edge of your left foot onto the floor. You’ll feel greater support. Keep both feet well grounded, but especially your left foot.

AsymmetricalLunge03-www.RicardoDasNeves.com

3. Swing your arm to inside the knee, drop your shoulder and thread your right arm beneath the thigh. Flatten your right palm on the floor as shown, with your right elbow straight. Take two slow breaths in this position.

AsymmetricalLunge04-www.RicardoDasNeves.com

4. Now, extend your left arm upwards. Note that you’re leaning to the right to support your body on your feet and on your right hand. Press the shoulders apart.

AsymmetricalLunge05-www.RicardoDasNeves.com

Here’s another angle to illustrate the position and the fact that you’re leaning to the side.

Take five slow breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Strengthens your wrists and somewhat your arms and shoulders. But its real forte is in the way that it stretches your shoulders, your spine, your hips, your neck and sometimes, depending on the person, your mind.

Avoid if: Any of the above-listed stretch areas feel… a little challenged. If your wrists hurt or feel weak, this may be modified by leaning less to one side so there’s more weight on your feet and much less in your hand. Also, if your neck and shoulders ache instead of feeling that welcome sensation of stretch, you might want to pick a less demanding pose.

Final thoughts: Yes, it is a deep lunge. Yes, for those of you knowledgeable enough, the Asymmetrical Lunge does look suspiciously like an interim step towards that pose where instead of extending your left hand up in the air, you instead use it to grab the right foot and lift it, to where it’s just your right arm and your left foot on the floor. But hey, this is a prime example of “sometimes more isn’t better.” Unless this is already more for you in which case this pose is more better.

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Author: Ricardo das Neves

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: Author’s Own

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