Asanas for stretching the lateral muscles

1. Swinging Uthanasana

Tilt forward from a standing position.

Spread the feet slightly wider than the pelvis, turn the heels a little outward and lean forward. Grab your elbows. Feel how the spine is lengthening, and the crown drops down. Swing from side to side like a pendulum. Perform a pose for 5 breaths.

Dr. DAS Jayanta Kumar
Ayurvedic and integrative medicine doctor.

2. Malasana

(Garland Pose)

Spread the feet the width of the short edge of the mat and squat down, bringing your ischial bones to the floor. Lift up the chest and crown. If your heels do not fall to the floor, lay a blanket under them. Fold your palms at your chest in Anjali Mudra (Welcome Seal). Hold the pose for 9 breaths.

3. Parshva Tadasana

(Mount Pose with lateral tilt)

In Malasan, interlock your fingers and stand with a breath. Raise your hands up, spreading your palms to the ceiling, and stretch to the right, lengthening the side of the body. Exhale and return to Malasana. Interlock your fingers and stand in again as you inhale. Raise your hands up with your palms to the ceiling and stretch to the left. Repeat the sequence three times in each direction, and then do Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Dog pose with his face down).

4. Adjanasana

(Low lunge)

In Adho Mukha Shvanasana, step forward with your right foot and place your foot between your palms. Lower your left knee to the floor, press the front surface of the foot against the mat and raise your hands up. Point your tailbone to the floor. As you exhale, lower your right hand fingers to the floor or brick, raise your left hand up and stretch it to the right, tilting the body to the left. Hold the pose for 5 cycles of breathing. While inhaling, raise both hands up, while exhaling, lower them down. Return to the Dog’s pose, face down and lunge in the other direction.

5. Three-legged dog pose

In the Dog pose, face down, press the left heel to the floor and raise the right foot up to the ceiling. Catch the balance, bend the right leg at the knee and retract the tailbone, revealing the area of the hip joints. Push your hands off the floor properly. Direct your breathing to the side of your body. Hold the pose for 5 long, deep breathing cycles. Straighten your leg, align both sides of the pelvis and lower your foot to the floor. Perform the pose the other way.

6. Parighasana

(Zasov’s pose)

Bend your legs and lower your knees to the floor. Extend your right leg to the side, turn it outward and push the sole to the floor. On inhalation, extend your arms to the sides at shoulder level. With an exhale, lower the right palm onto the front surface of the right thigh or lower leg and stretch to the right. Hold the pose for 3 breaths. Push your left lower leg off the floor and rise as you inhale. Perform the asana the other way.

7. Plank posture with elbows on the floor, variation

Press your elbows and forearms to the floor, placing them parallel to each other. Fingers are looking forward. Bring your legs to the Plank position. Push the heels away from you, and direct your chest forward, feeling how the energy begins to move along the midline of the body. Activate the muscles of the lower abdomen and turn both heels to the right, pressing the feet against each other. Lower your right thigh to the floor, but do not drop it, locking it at a height of 3-4 cm above the mat. Make sure that the movement of energy along the midline of the body is not disturbed. Hold the pose for 5 cycles of breathing. Return to the Planck position and repeat the turn to the other side. Perform the sequence in each direction at least ten times, not forgetting to involve the oblique muscles of the abdomen in the work.

8. “Wild thing”

Connect the feet in the Planck position. Turn around on the outside of your left foot, place your right thigh on your left and extend your right hand up to the ceiling. Lift the right leg, bend it at the knee and press the pads under the fingers of the right foot to the floor behind the left knee 20–25 cm from it. Extend your right hand to the front edge of the mat. Extend the lower back. Hold this position for 3 breathing cycles. Return to the Planck position and perform the asana in the other direction.

9. Temple Pose

Stand on the mat and place your feet wide. Turn your toes out. Bend your knees deep. Pull the lower abdomen inward and at the same time stretch up the crown. Lengthening the spine, lower the right forearm onto the right thigh, raise your left hand up and stretch it to the right. Opening the lateral part of the body, expand the area of the ribs with your breath. Hold on for one breath. Repeat the pose 10 times, alternating sides.

10. Parivritta Janu Shirshasana

(Twisted tilt of the head to the knee)

Sit on the floor, stretch the right leg to the right and bring the left heel to the left groin. Extend your spine and stretch your right hand to the toes of your right foot. Bend your right arm at the elbow and lower it to the floor, on the inside of your right knee. Twist the case to the left. Raise your left hand above your head and stretch it to the toes of your right foot. Extend the left side of the housing. Opening and extending the body, turn the left ribs to the ceiling. Perform the pose the other way.


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