Lizard Pose or Utthan Pristhasana: Benefits and How to do it


Lizard pose or utthan pristhasana in yoga is perfect for those with tight hips. So, learn how to perform the lizard pose.

Lizard pose is a yoga pose all about flexibility and strength. This yoga asana, which helps to stretch and open the hip area, is also referred to as Utthan Pristhasana.

What is lizard pose?

Lizard pose is a yoga pose that opens up your hips. In Sanskrit, ‘utthan’ means to stretch out and ‘pristha’ means back of the body. Lizard pose is an intense hip-opener and can be practiced with modified versions. This pose helps to open up the body’s potential by strengthening the hips, shoulders, arms and core, shares yoga coach Nisha Dhawan.

This pose, like most other yoga asanas, goes beyond its physical health benefits, and offers mental health advantages including easing tension, lowering stress and helping to concentrate on your wellness.

Woman working out
Do lizard pose if you have tight hips. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

What are the benefits of the lizard pose?

Lizard pose improves muscular tone, flexibility, and overall well-being by targeting multiple parts of the body. Here are some health benefits of lizard pose, as explained by Nisha Dhawan.

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1. Tightens your muscles

A daily practice of this asana stretches the muscles located at the buttocks. By strengthening and fortifying your glute muscles, this posture tones them up. This muscle supports your body while you walk, run, stand up straight, and stretch your thigh. As a result, this exercise provides a wonderful stretch for overall toning.

2. Relaxes your mind

It relaxes your tense muscles and provides you with a deep stretch in the lower abdomen. By concentrating on the body’s physical balance, awareness is raised in both the mind and the body. Intense breathing also causes your blood to surge with vitality, as it regenerates your blood cells, which ultimately results in mental renewal.

3. Enhances the hip muscles

Your hip muscles must be fully stretched for the lizard pose, which increases hip flexibility. Flexibility aids in enhancing balance, which helps in relieving hip muscle stiffness and tightness.

4. Burns belly fat

This pose stretches deeply, which tightens the muscles in your abdomen. It would be more effective the longer you held it. By decreasing the excess fat surrounding the lower abdomen, this position tones your tummy by tightening your core muscles.

A woman measuring her belly fat
Lizard pose can burn belly fat. Image courtesy: Freepik

5. Activates the reproductive organs

This pose is also recommended to people having symptoms related to reproductive health, as the pose promotes activation of the pelvic region and lower abdomen.

How to do lizard pose?

• Start in the downward-facing dog pose and inhale
• Exhale as you step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Your right knee should be at a 90-degree angle and stacked above your ankle and your toes should point out to 45 degrees
• Inhale as you bring your elbows to the floor and forearms flat on your mat and spread your palms on the floor
• Keep the head in a neutral and relaxed position
• Exhale and press into your left heel to keep your left leg active, as this will ensure your hips don’t sag towards the floor
• Stay for five deep breaths (inhale and exhale)
• When you’re ready to release the pose, exhale and straighten your arms so your wrists are under your shoulders
• Inhale, step back to downward-facing dog pose and stay in that pose for a few breaths.

Repeat the steps starting with your left leg forward to ensure the pose is performed equally on both sides.

“Lizard pose is an intermediate to advanced level pose. While lizard pose can provide a deep stretch, you need to work up to this level of practice to avoid strain,” says the yoga expert. If you have particularly tight hips, it can be amongst the most uncomfortable and downright intimidating of all asanas. It may take time and consistent practice for flexibility in your hips to improve.

Since it is a deep hip-opener, you must ensure that you have practiced some basic hip-opening asanas like lunges and pigeon pose before attempting the lizard pose. More importantly, you should get permission from their yoga instructor or doctor before trying this yoga pose.

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