Side Lunge - Skandasana

Side Lunge Yoga Pose - YanvaYoga


Side Lunge or Skandasana (skuhn-DAHS-uh-nuh) is a beginner-level hip-opening asana that is meant to stretch your hips and hamstrings. It is a relatively simple exercise, making it perfect for beginners. The best time to perform it is before a workout.
Skandasana is commonly practiced as one pose in a sequence of flowing yoga poses. It can, however, also be performed as a stand-alone stretching exercise.
Skandasana is made up of two words, ‘Skanda’ meaning warrior’s position while preparing for an attack, and “Asana” meaning pose.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana).
Step 2
Bend your left knee into a half-squat. Keep your right leg straight and flex your foot so that your toes leave the floor so you are rooting into the right heel.
Step 3
Press hips back while keeping the spine lifted. Root into your feet so that your body is lifted, instead of sinking.
Step 4
Keep your hands on the floor if you need them for balance (on a block if that is helpful). Otherwise, try bending your elbows and bring your hands intoanjali mudra(palms together) with the left elbow inside the left knee in a kind of half Garland Pose (Malasana). Or, extend arms out wide.
Step 5
Drop your hands to the floor for support and shift to the other side.

Benefits and Contraindications


Stretches your hamstrings and hip adductors

Improves balance

Builds core strength

Increases flexibility for more challenging poses


High blood pressure


Knee or ankle injury

Hip pain

Balance issues

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Use a block underneath your seat to support your joints.
  • Option to add a bind with your arms around the bent knee and lower back.
  • For a more lunar or restorative version of the posture, allow your upper body to drape toward the ground with the arms relaxed.

Useful Tips

  • A beginner should not try to accomplish this pose in one go; it could result in injury.
  • While shifting weight from one leg to another, intense pressure is laid on the knees; prefer to go slow here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Bound Side Lunge Stretch Pose
  • Standing Side Lunge With Forward Bend

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.