Lizard Pose - Utthan Pristhasana

Lizard Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


Lizard Pose or Utthan Pristhasana in Sanskrit (‘uttan’ = ‘stretch deep out’, and ‘pristha’ = ‘back of the body’, and ‘asana’ = ‘posture’) is similar to Lunge Pose (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana) but practiced resting on the forearms.

Lizards have a great flexible upper body and hence the back of the body in this posture resembles the stretched out lizard. And the practice of the same is said to bring the very same flexibility and suppleness in the back and the various muscles involved.

Lizard Pose is considered a base pose as lizard pose variations can be derived from this pose. Lizard Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in yoga sequences.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale.
Step 2
Exhale as you step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Make sure your foot comes all the way to the front of your mat so your toes are in line with your fingers. Your right knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and stacked above the ankle. Your toes should point out about 45 degrees.
Step 3
Inhale as you bring your elbows to the floor with your forearms flat on your mat. Spread your palms out on the floor (use a block underneath the forearms here if necessary). Keep your head in a neutral, relaxed position. Exhale and press into your left heel to keep your left leg active. This will help ensure your hips don't sag toward the floor. Stay for 5 deep, full breaths.
Step 4
When you're ready to release from the pose, exhale deeply and straighten your arms so your wrists are under your shoulders.
Step 5
Inhale and step back to Downward Dog. Stay in your starting pose for several breaths. Repeat the steps starting with your left leg forward to ensure the pose is performed equally on both sides.

Benefits and Contraindications


Stretches Hamstrings

Opens The Hips

Reduces Stress & Tension

Strengthens Leg Muscles

Preps For Deeper Stretches


Injury at the knee or hips

Weak shoulder joints or forearms

Not to be practiced if the lower back pain is severe

Photo poses in different angles

Modification And Props For Beginners

If your hips are tight, try using props for support. Use a block under your forearms for comfort. If your back knee feels uncomfortable, add a rolled-up towel or mat underneath it.

If coming down to the forearms on a block is still too intense, try staying on your palms with arms straight.

Useful Tips

  • The back knee can be placed on the mat or you can raise it to provide a greater challenge during the posture.
  • Remember to stay up on the toes of the back foot, keeping the toes grounded into the mat.
  • Try to keep a long spine with the chest sinking to basically shoulder level.
  • Avoid allowing the neck and head to sink, keep the neck straight with your gaze forward.
  • Don’t become overly concerned about placing the forearms on the earth, keeping the arms straight with the palms on the ground perfectly acceptable.

Lizar Pose Anatomy

This practice is a deep hip opener that also targets the gluteus maximus, hip flexors, hamstrings, shoulders, and arms, including the lower back. Included in Yoga Sequences, the practice can help improve the flexibility of the leg muscles, pelvic floor muscles, and hip flexors. Since the primary focus are the hips, Lizard Pose is also seen practiced in Yin Yoga to help stretch and strengthen the deep connecting tissues like fascia.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Lizard Pose Elbows On Block
  • Twisted Lizard Pose
  • Lizard Pose With Quad Stretch
  • Bound Lizard Pose Foot Behind Head
  • Lizard Pose Airplane Arms Under Knee
  • Lizard Pose With Forward Foot On The Floor
  • Flying Lizard Pose
  • Lizard Pose Variation Holding Back Foot
  • Lizard Pose Variation One Knee On Floor Arms Stretched Forward
  • Twisted Lizard Pose Ankle Grip

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.