• T
  • H
  • M
  • High Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch

    high lunge, yoga hip stretch, yoga for flexibility

    High lunge yoga pose can be used to stretch the hip flexors.

    The hip flexors work to close the front of the hip joint. With high lunge you focus on opening the front of the hip joint by sinking the pelvis down.

    So that you also stretch the psoas major muscle, you can focus on lengthening your torso upwards, and even on bending your ribcage backwards as you hold this yoga pose.

    Back Foot Position

    Starting with your back knee on the floor, you can have the top of the foot on the floor or you can tuck the toes forwards.

    I like having the top of the foot on the floor since when I lift my knee I then get a stretch along the whole front of the leg, including the front of the ankle. However I also like to practice with toes tucked under.

    Press the Back Foot Down

    Focus on pressing your back foot into the floor as you inhale. Imagine kicking the floor with your foot. As you do so notice the tension in your thigh as you increase the pressure. See if you can increase the pressure to the point where your back knee is just about to leave the floor. Then gradually decrease the pressure as you exhale.

    Lifting the Back Knee

    If you focus on feeling your back knee as well as your foot you can notice the point at which your knee is about to leave the floor. The knee will feel "empty." (I've included an in-depth explanation of "empty" in my book Balance Basics.) If you relax the leg the knee becomes "full". Try the following four part exercise. Do each part slowly and smoothly.

    1. As you inhale press your back foot down just till the knee is empty.
    2. Then as you exhale lift the knee.
    3. Then inhale touch the knee to the floor.
    4. Exhale and relax your leg completely.


    • You may find it helpful it this exercise to have your feet about hip width apart from side to side.
    • By pressing the back foot into the floor you may also be activating some of the hip flexors. So you may be lengthening the hip flexor muscles while they are active.
    • You don't have to straighten the back knee in this pose. Often just lifting it off of the floor adds weight to the high lunge position that helps to sink your pelvis and stretch the hip flexors of your back leg.

    Adding the Spine

    I used to teach this next part first but I found that students unfamiliar with their body got confused when I added the knee lift after. So I teach beginners the knee lift first and then add the upper body.

    With torso upright, focus on first lengthening your neck. Pull your head back and up, and your chin inwards and downwards. Make the back of your neck feel long. Then let your head move forwards and relax your neck as you exhale.

    Then, as you lengthen your neck lift and open your chest. Then relax both together while exhaling. Now add the knee lift. As you lengthen your neck and open your ribcage, press your foot down and smoothly lift your knee. Then lower your knee and relax your leg as you relax your spine and neck.

    Initially you can have both hands on your front knee to help push your ribcage up and back. Once you are comfortable with lengthening your spine and lifting your knee you can add the arms. On a single inhale, reach the arms forwards and then up as your lift your knee and lengthen your spine. For smoother synchronization I like to reach the arms forwards as I make the back knee empty, then I reach the arms up as I lift the back knee. Reverse these steps to come down.

    As you get more comfortable with high lunge you can try bending your spine backwards. I'd suggest that you try lifting your back ribs to give yourself more room to bend. You may also find it helpful to internally rotate your back leg as you do so. But keep your back knee pointing down.

    high lunge yoga hip stretch high lunge yoga hip stretch high lunge yoga hip stretch

    High Lunge Against the Wall

    lunging hip stretch with shin against wall

    You can also do High lunge with your back shin against a wall.

    Use blocks for your hands or keep your hands on your front knee.

    For this version, as you inhale you can press your back foot into the wall. Relax as you exhale.

    From here you can work at moving your front foot forwards so that you work towards front to back splits.

    Keep the torso upright to keep this as a hip flexor stretch.

    Return to Home Page

    Return to Yoga for Flexibility from High Lunge

    Stretching to Improve Flexibility

    Shoulder and Arm Flexibility

    Back Flexibility

    Psoas Stretching

    Hip Stretches

    Leg Stretches

    More Stretches

    Improve Strength and Flexibility

    Relaxed Meridian Stretching

    What's New?

    Stability in Yoga Poses

    Make your yoga poses less wobbly with less effort. Grounding and centering are two techniques for creating stability in yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Stability in Yoga Poses"

    Arm Supported Yoga Poses

    Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.

    Continue reading "Arm Supported Yoga Poses"

    Joint Pain Yoga

    Rather than fighting through joint pain here is an overview of the approach that I've used to help alleviate hip pain, knee pain or shoulder joint pain while doing yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Joint Pain Yoga"

    Feeling Your Center of Gravity

    Make balancing easier. Use pressure sensitivity to feel your center of gravity.

    Continue reading "Feeling Your Center of Gravity"

    How to do Squats

    A yoga approach to how to do squats including how to stay balanced, and avoiding knee or hip pain even while going all the way down.

    Continue reading "How to do Squats"

    Camel Yoga Pose

    Camel Yoga Pose or ustrasana is a kneeling pose that can be used to stretch the hip flexors. One key action that may help in getting your pelvis forwards more is pushing your hands forwards, either against your feet or against the floor.

    Continue reading "Camel Yoga Pose"

    Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability

    The transverse abdominis can have an affect on sacroiliac joint stability as well as stability of the lumbar spine and the T12/L1 junction.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability"

    Fluid Tensegrity Joint Anatomy

    Fluid tensegrity joint anatomy looks at the tendency of the body to maintain space within the joints. The question is, how is this space maintained?

    Continue reading "Fluid Tensegrity Joint Anatomy"

    Why Improve Body Awareness

    Why improve body awareness? So that you can use your body more effectively and fix problems yourself when they arise.

    Continue reading "Why Improve Body Awareness"


    How is tensegrity maintained at the joints even as the body adopts non-tensegrity postures or movements?

    Continue reading "Tensegrity"

    Being Present

    Why being present is the oppositve of thinking and how to utilize both modes effecively.

    Continue reading "Being Present"

    Pigeon Yoga Pose

    Pigeon yoga pose variations include lifting the front hip and resting it on the floor. Learn how to activate the front hip in either variation for better hip control and more effective stretching.

    Continue reading "Pigeon Yoga Pose"

    Creating Tensegrity In Yoga Poses

    Creating tensegrity in yoga poses. What is tensegrity, why should we aim to achieve it when doing yoga or any other activity where mindfullness is required?

    Continue reading "Creating Tensegrity In Yoga Poses"

    Obturator Externus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers

    Obturator externus anatomy for yoga teachers. If you have hip pain in forward bends and your hip feels weak, obturator externus may be the culprit.

    Continue reading "Obturator Externus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers"

    Yoga Stretches for Tight Hamstrings

    Yoga stretches for tight hamstrings. Learn to feel when your legs are active and when they are relaxed so that you can gradually stretch tight hamstrings.

    Continue reading "Yoga Stretches for Tight Hamstrings"

    Adding Bigness to Your Yoga Poses

    An experienced yogi's yoga pose has a sense of bigness. How do you as a beginner add bigness to your yoga poses?

    Continue reading "Adding Bigness to Your Yoga Poses"

    Basic Yoga Sequence Part 1

    Basic yoga sequence for flexibility. Includes hip, hamstring, quad stretches and neck stretches and recovery exercises.

    Continue reading "Basic Yoga Sequence Part 1"

    Back Strengthening Yoga Poses

    Back strengthening yoga poses can be used to strengthen the back of the body including hamstrings, glutes and both the lower and upper back.

    Continue reading "Back Strengthening Yoga Poses"

    Handstand Intro 6

    A look at getting your feet off of the wall and balancing in handstand plus tips for greater arm stability.

    Continue reading "Handstand Intro 6"

    Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength

    Yoga pose sequences for flexibility and strength. These sequences can be used for improving hip and shoulder flexibility and strength.

    Continue reading "Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength"