Shammi's Yogalaya

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Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Method

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Step 1: Assume Tadasana position (correct standing position).

Step 2: Raise your arms up with inhalation and bend forward with exhalation, bringing your arms down (check Uttanasana) and by the side of your feet.

Step 3: Move your right leg back as much as possible.

Step 4: Your left knee is bent and is standing above your left ankle.

Step 5: Your palms are placed on the floor (palms are in line with your shoulders) with your arms tall and shoulders lifted up.

Step 6: Your left knee is in line with the second left toe.

Step 7: Left thigh is parallel to the floor. In order to optimize the quadriceps stretch in this position, mentally push your left bent knee forward and at the same time push your left thigh into your left groin and then your left groin down towards the floor. Also keep your right heel stretched down towards the floor. There will not be much of visible movement during this adjustment. However, visualizing and trying to do so will enhance the stretch quality of your quadriceps.

Step 8: Move your attention to your abdomen. Push your navel into your spine and start stretching your front torso starting from your navel, stretch your chest, upper back and head up.

Step 9: Chest should not be resting on the left thigh but should be separated from that. This is the final position of the Ashwa Sanchalanasana.

 CALF Movement

Assuming the above posture, balance on your right toe completely so that your right heel is up towards the ceiling. Push your right heel further up.

Begin to lengthen your right calf very slowly (feel as if you are extending your right calf and increasing its size).

As the process of the calf stretch begins, your heel will start coming close to the floor but may not fully touch the floor.

Allow the heel to go towards the floor as much as possible.

Once you feel, your right heel cannot go further down to the floor, hold the position  and make your final attempt on stretching the heel, hold for a few seconds.

Release by getting your heel up and by coming on your toes again. Follow the same action of going down.

Repeat for 5-10 times.

Tips: Make sure you keep your pelvis and hips firm during the movement of the calf otherwise it would be difficult to feel the effect of the calf stretch

Benefits

In general, as we can see that this particular posture has the strength building as well as flexibility elements. So when one leg is getting stretched the other leg is getting strengthened and vice a versa.

  •  Knee Pain: Raising your calves up and down with control helps strengthen your knees by strengthening the surrounding areas. Left leg, which is bent also works on strengthening your knee by working on your quadriceps muscles (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius).
  • Groin & Hips: This posture stretches deep Iliosoas muscle and thereby stretches the groin and the hips making them more flexible.
  • Spinal Stretch: Lengthens the spine and strengthens the muscles of the chest and increases lung capacity.
  • Abdominal Region: Tones and stimulates all abdominal organs (kidney, liver etc).
  • Runners: This type of lunge position will help create balance between your quadriceps and hip flexors as well as stretch them

Contraindications

  • Be careful in case of any kind of knee injury or knee pain. The bent position of the knee, if not aligned well, will aggravate the pain.
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