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Our Most-Ignored Stretch

Lightning Pose

If someone asked you to do a stretch, you might bend over and touch your toes in Forward Bend. If you were sitting, you'd probably pull your heels together and close for Cobblers Pose. Unless you're a runner, it's doubtful that you would decide on a quad stretch. Yet these large strong muscles need this stretch! Lots of yoga students love their forward bends and hip openers, but ask them to reach back for an ankle to stretch the fronts of their legs, and you will hear the protests.

Lightning Pose is a very deep and intense quadriceps stretch. It is not for everyone. If you have serious knee issues, skip this one. If you're very tight, start in Hero's Pose, and hold that for a while, gradually finding your way to the ground over the course of several days, weeks or even months. Don't rush. Should you feel discomfort in your knees, come right out of Lightning Pose. If you are able to make your way to the floor and hold a bit, you will be amazed at how genuinely good this pose feels. Start slow, and work your way into the stretch, breathing throughout.

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