Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana). This is two different versions of a pose I did two weeks ago in a previous post called Yoga Lunge Video. This lunge lengthens and strengthens the whole body integrating all parts from head to toe.
To begin: Start from Forward Bend, lengthen the chest and spine forward. Bend the knees to make it easy and comfortable to step one leg back. You want the front knee at 90 degrees, with the knee over the heel not in front of the heel, this protects the knee. Feet are hip width apart, chest and shoulders facing forward and over the hips with a mild back bend in the lower back. Back foot on the ball of the foot, extending through the heel. Back leg is lifting strongly with the back knee lifting away from the floor as high as comfortable straightening the leg.
Inhale and sweep the arms overhead. If comfortable and you don't have neck issues gently tilt your head looking up toward your hands. Drop your tailbone toward the floor with the spine moving into a mini back bend.
Draw the back leg hip forward as you press the front leg hip back, square the hips so they're parallel as much as possible.
Keep the front leg aligned by having the foot, knee and thigh in line. You should be able to see the toe on the inside of the knee. If not move your hips to accomplish this alignment to protect the knee. If you notice the knee is in front of the heel you are more flexible and need to increase the distance between the feet.
Imagine a rope going through the crown of your head lengthening the spine and upper body. Allow the shoulder blades to draw into the upper back.
This pose can be held from 20 seconds to a minute, as long as you are comfortable.
To come out of the pose: Drop the hands to the mat bend the back leg and push off the back foot into a Forward bend.
With a regular practice you will find ease in Crescent Lunge which will allow you to build flexibility, strength and or power and balance.
Other benefits: Stretch and strengthen legs, groin, hips and butt. Works the arms, shoulders, chest and builds endurance. It helps to open the chest allowing more oxygen with each full breath.
If the Crescent Lunge is too difficult, you may want to try with hands on the thighs. If it's still too difficult you can go to one of these previous posts for milder versions of the lunge pose. Anjaneyasana Low Lung or Yoga Lunge Video.
No matter what Yoga pose you are doing always work within your own range.
Healthy & Happy