98/100 ~ Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) – This pose stretches deep into the psoas muscle and hip joint, so it packs a double punch. Practice this pose and you may notice relief from back pain. You might even notice a happier, more light-hearted disposition. Give it a try with that intention, and see how you feel.

Benefits: Low lunge pose deeply stretches the psoas muscle, glutes and hips. Releasing these muscles helps to relieve back pain and sciatica. This pose stretches the torso, upper back and shoulders; aligns the spine; builds strength and stamina; and opens the chest/heart-center to release tension and anxiety.

How to: From forward fold (day 32), step your right foot back for a lunge, and then scoot the toes back a little further to create a wider stance. Lower your right knee, and allow the top of the right foot to rest on the floor as well (use a folded blanket under your knee for support). Press into the left foot and align your left knee directly over the left ankle. Inhale as you lift the hands overhead, lifting the arms and the torso upward. Exhale, sink a little deeper into the hips. Focus on your breath here – feel the body rise and expand on the inhale, relax and sink a bit on the exhale. Hold this posture for 2-8 breath cycles, using downward dog (day 37) or forward fold as a transition before stretching on the other side.

Mantra: “I am courageous and strong. I can do great things!”

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