Crescent Moon Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

This pose strengthens and tones the leg and hip muscles while lengthening the muscle fibers. The stretch is beneficial for active people because it engages the nervous system by working both strength and flexibility with focused attention and breath. It also helps to liberate stiff joints, and provides relief from sciatica.

Check it out… there’s a deck in my new backyard that happens to be a great space for an afternoon practice. Pictured below is my practice of a pose called Crescent Moon Lunge (in Sanskrit: Anjaneyasana). As you can see, it is a pose that aligns strength and stability  in the hips and shoulders with balance and flexibility.

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To practice this pose, *step into a Runner’s Lunge and then shift your back-leg knee to the ground and roll over the toes of your back-foot to point behind you. You are now on the top surface of your foot, where you might feel a lot of bones. If it feels uncomfortable, you may benefit by placing a blanket under the shin and foot to provide cushion.

Note on Anatomy and Self-Care – Did you know that each foot contains 26 bones?  The feet are designed to provide structural support and carry our body weight. However, if we don’t take care of our feet with practices like yoga and walking barefoot from time to time on natural ground, we can experience pain in the ankles, knees, and feet due to over compression in the 26 bones, 100+ muscles and 33 joints in each foot!

  • In the beginning, stay in the “Shallow Water” with this pose. Keep your hands on the ground near your front-leg foot.
  • To get deeper, lift your arms alongside your ears.
  • To go further into the shoulder stretch, clasp your hands over your head, bend your elbows wide, and draw your upper-arm bones back.

Endurance – Stay stable in your foundation by shifting your sacral area forward, stepping firmly into your front foot, and elevating your rib cage as your draw the arms behind your head.

Refinement – Keep your chin tucked to lengthen the back of your neck. They draw up through your crown.

*Repeat on both sides. Transition poses between sides may include Downward Dog or Standing Forward Fold. From Downward Dog, step one foot forward between your hands to enter the pose. From Standing Forward Fold, step one foot back.

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Therapeutic Benefits of Crescent Moon – Often times, we carry a lot of unconscious stress in our inner body, via tight muscles or a weak core. This pose creates space for the inner body to breathe and awareness to reorganize into a healthier state of being. Great for runner’s, cyclists, climbers, etc… basically great for anyone with an active lifestyle. On the flip side, it is also great for people who have been sitting in a passive position for a long period of time.

This pose strengthens and tones the leg and hip muscles while lengthening the muscle fibers. The stretch is beneficial for active people because it engages the nervous system by working both strength and flexibility with focused attention and breath. It also helps to liberate stiff joints, and provides relief from sciatica.

For people who have been sitting for a long period of time, it allows circulation to flow through the body. The internal organs get to strengthen and detox while supporting the muscles of the back body, providing an uplift of energy. It also helps to focus the mind and strengthen the heart center in the body. With a focused mind and a strong heart, we develop authenticity and courage. So this pose is great for developing willpower and confidence, courage and creativity.

Intentions – Step into this pose with the intention for authenticity and courage. Then, you will achieve balance and vitality. Trust that you will have the strength to move forward in the direction of your dreams, and in alignment with your highest purpose.

More Backyard Yoga sequences coming up!

2 Replies to “Crescent Moon Lunge (Anjaneyasana)”

  1. Thanks Courtney for breaking down the Crescent Moon Lunge pose complete with options for getting started, therapeutic benefits, and anatomy lesson. Looks like a great pose for someone who has been sitting behind a computer too long at work.

    By the way Violet has gotten big !

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