Most of my students have super tight hips. This often lead to back pain (another thing just about everyone has) and knee/ankle pain. Common causes for tight hips are a sedentary lifestyle, seated jobs, bad posture, wrong shoes etc.
The Anjaneyasana is one of the most effective asanas to combat these problems. In gym/fitness class parlance it is also called the low lunge pose. When done correctly this posture helps to loosen up tight glutes and hamstrings. It also provides a gentle stretch to the psoas and the hip joint. You can also use props such as bolsters, blocks and chairs to enhance the benefits of the posture.
If you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that in the past few years my interest has gradually turned towards the internal benefits of a regular asana practice. The fact that yoga helps is no longer debatable. Now we are trying to study the impact yogasanas have on your mental makeup.
The Connection to Deep-Seated Emotions
The Anjaneyasana brings deep-seated fears, traumas and insecurities to the fore, making the practitioner uncomfortable. This is because when we are in the low-lunge we are actively stimulating the muladhaara chakra which is located at the base of the spine. This chakra is connected to our sense of survival, security and independence. When this is threatened, the resulting emotional upheaval is stored in the hip area.
For detailed step-by-step instructions for this asana, refer to my book Beyond Asanas. It is available for Kindle too! The book has beautiful photographs done by Joel Koechlin and an insightful foreword by Kalki Koechlin.
For more effective yogasanas for back pain check out this blog from my archives. I’ve illustrated several asanas with detailed descriptions too.