Yoga Pose Focus: Lizard (Utthan Pristhasana)

Lizard Pose, also known as Utthan Pristhasana targets those tight hips, glutes, and hamstrings. This intermediate-level pose isn’t just great for flexibility, it also helps strengthen your core, shoulders, and spine, leaving you feeling energised and receptive.

Benefits of Lizard Pose:

  • Enhanced Flexibility: Lizard Pose deeply stretches the hips, hamstrings, and glutes, increasing your overall range of motion.
  • Strength and Stability: The pose also engages your core, shoulders, and spine, promoting strength and stability in these areas.
  • Pain Relief: By loosening tight muscles and improving flexibility, Lizard Pose can help reduce lower back pain.
  • Improved Movement: Increased flexibility and mobility can benefit your everyday activities and athletic performance.

How to Practice Lizard Pose:

Before you begin:

  • It’s important to warm up your body properly before attempting Lizard Pose. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana), and Cradle Pose (Hindolasana) are all great preparatory poses.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start in Downward-Facing Dog.
  2. Inhale and step your right foot forward, placing it outside your right hand. Line up your right knee over your ankle, with your toes angled slightly outwards.
  3. Exhale and lower your forearms to the mat, shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows stacked over your wrists and spread your palms flat.
  4. Maintain a neutral head position and a flat back.
  5. For an extra stretch (if your hips allow it), roll onto the outer edge of your right foot and let your right knee open wider.
  6. Lengthen your spine and press your hips back.
  7. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.


  • If you find it difficult to keep your forearms flat on the mat, use yoga blocks for support.
  • Listen to your body. Don’t force any deep stretches and come out of the pose if you experience any pain.
  • Breathe deeply and smoothly throughout the pose.

Lizard Pose Modifications:

  • If you’re new to the pose, you can keep your back knee lifted instead of lowering it to the mat.
  • If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your back knee slightly.

Lizard Pose and Your Yoga Practice:

Lizard Pose pairs well with other hip-opening poses like Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) and Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana). Following Lizard Pose with these stretches can deepen the opening and improve your flexibility further.

Unleash your inner lizard and enjoy the benefits of this powerful pose! Find out more about my vinyasa and yin yoga classes in Rugby, Warwickshire.