Ask Aunt Yoga: Advice on Stepping from Down Dog to Lunge

Lunge. © Barry Stone

Dear Aunt Yoga,

In a sun salutation sequence, I am supposed to step from downward facing dog into a low lunge with the forward foot between my hands. After trying to limber my hips up, I am still unable to get my foot all the way forward. It often ends up below my chest, and I have to reach back with one hand and pull it forward into the correct position. I've found that this is a total disruption to the flow of the sequence, and I am unwilling to accept that it's just impossible to do.

Is stopping to move my foot up manually a bad thing? Are there ways I can work towards being able to complete the move "correctly"?


Dear D.L.,

Moving the foot up with your hand is the accepted solution to your problem, which is quite a common one in beginners. It’s really not that bad and is far preferable to leaving your foot too far back, which could injure your knee. As you continue to practice, I think you will find it gets easier and easier -– it was for me! Some tips to consider:

1. Come up onto the finger tips before stepping forward to lunge. The added height makes getting the foot up easier. You can work on flattening the palms later.

2. Raise your leg in a downdog split before attempting to bring your foot forward. The added momentum of swinging your leg sometimes will help your foot come further forward.

3. Bring the knee up into your chest, rounding the spine a little bit as you step forward.

4. Accept your current ability, and know that it will improve over time.


Aunt Yoga

Return to Ask Aunt Yoga.

Continue Reading