Crescent Lunge or Alanasana pose
Note: A good rule for doing yoga poses is that if it hurts, don’t do it. Also, check with your doctor before starting any activity.
Crescent lunge increases strength and flexibility, while stabilizing the front and back of the body. This pose uses your chest muscles, arms, shoulders, stomach, back muscles and even more! It is a great pose to start a yoga practice with.
For your Crescent Lunge or Alanasana pose start in downward dog. If this is too difficult, you can also start in table pose. On an in breath, lift your left leg up and step forward with your foot ending up between your hands. Your knee should be as close to 90 degrees as you can. Adjust your front foot. Drop your right knee to the floor. Press the top of your back foot into the ground or press the balls of the foot into the ground with the ankle raised. Stay here or raise your hand skywards. Tighten your stomach inwards and upwards. Reach with your arms but notice if your shoulders start to rise upwards. If your shoulders do rise up, encourage them to resettle on your back.
Without moving your legs, squeeze them toward each other – the left foot pulling backwards and the right foot pulling forward on the mat.
Your back foot should also feel energetic with a pressing action coming from the balls of your back foot if it is pressing into the floor. If it is not, try it by coming onto the balls of your back foot. Bring your hands to your hips and slowly rise on your back leg until you are in an upright position. Feel your hips and ensure both the left and right hips are even – without either being forward of the other. Bring some sensation into your mid body by tightening your stomach in and upwards. Now, lift your hands to the sky and align the inside of your arms with your ears. If you want, you can clasp both hands together leaving the pointer fingers reaching upwards. Pay attention to the back thigh and ensure that it is not drooping downwards. There is enough going on here if it seems too much, drop the back knee to the ground. Hold only as long as it feels good, then repeat on the other side.
Try a crescent lunge and tell me how it feels to you!