This pose always gets a lot of reactions. Some good, some bad. A tougher pose to learn to love, lizard pose (Utthan Pristhasana) is great for the hips.
Correct form for lizard pose
To get into lizard pose, it’s usually best to start in downward dog. From there, exhale and bring one foot to the outside of the pinkie side of your hand on that same side (right foot to the outside of the right hand, for example).
You’ll straighten your arms to bring your head and check up and, from here, can do a number of things to deepen the stretch. You can stay right here of course, as reflected in the picture above, and just breathe.
You can also lower the back knee (the one stretching behind you), release your foot so that the top is connected with the ground and continue to breathe. You can also come down to the forearms to deepen the stretch.
Benefits of lizard pose
Lizard pose is great for loosening up your hips while strengthening your hamstrings and quads. All of these muscles are a great foundation for so many other yoga poses, so learning to love lizard pose can really help strengthen your entire practice.
Also, lizard pose opens and releases your chest, neck and shoulders. This pose is a wonderful way to counteract all of the sitting we do on a day-to-day basis - from head to hips.
Finally, as you’ll hear many instructors say, any pose that works on opening or stretching the hips helps to relieve stress. Your hips hold a lot of stress, tension and emotion, so any pose like this can have a great impact on both your body and mind.Keep an eye out for this crowd favorite in your next few classes at the studio!