My Love-Hate Relationship with Lunge

Loving lunge?I love yoga. And one of the most ubiquitous poses is lunge. Ergo, I must love lunge, right? Wrong.  It’s not that I hate it; ok, maybe I do. But I also love it. Let me explain.

Lunge is part of the warming sequence but requires pliant “hipstrings” (hips and hamstrings) and quadriceps.  I don’t know about you, but my hipstrings are about as pliant as plywood (for some reason, my quads are fine).  Those first few lunges are just short of torture.

I literally have to coax my legs to do what they should with each sun salutation, warrior pose and parsvokansana.  “Come on – you can do it . . . move your leg forward more . . . bend your knee deeper . . .“

After about 5 lunges on each side, my body yields, giving up the fight of inflexibility for the more calming action of release.  It’s an amazing transformation that happens every time I get on my mat.

I’d like to say that this transformation is relegated just to my lower body, but it’s not.  Often, those first few moments on my mat are filled with dread, my monkey mind wildly vacillating between, “I’d rather be sleeping,” and “You suck. You are too (insert pejorative adjective of your choice).”

But as my lunges become softer and supple, the stillness rises from my hipstrings and permeates my entire being.  By the time class is over, my hipstrings are singing sweetly.

My love for lunges renewed, my monkey mind is kept at bay.

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