Half Lunge aka Ardha Anjenyasana is a basic pose a great alternative to full Crescent Pose. This pose is wonderful building block for balance, strengthening and stretching. It is also called Crescent Moon Pose in some schools of Yoga.
Start in Downward Facing Dog with the hips reaching up and back. Hands are shoulder distance apart and the fingers are spread wide. Feet are parallel to one another, hips distance apart and the heels reach down to the earth.
On an exhale, step the right foot between the hands. Bend the right knee to a 90 degree angle, the knee is directly over the ankle. The right foot faces forward. The feet should be hips distance apart so that your feet don’t feel like they are on a tight rope.
Drop the back knee to the earth and slide the leg back gently so that the majority of the weight is just above the kneecap. Untuck the back toes, rest the top of the foot on the earth and the toes point straight back.
Square the hips to the short edge of the mat. You may have to draw the right hip back as you draw the left hip forward to get them even.
On an inhale, engage the belly gently by drawing the navel in and up towards the spine. Then, interlace the fingers and place them on the top of the right kneecap.
Sink the hips down towards the earth as you use the strength of your belly to lift the torso out of the hips. The tailbone lengthens down. Extend through the crown of the head.
If you are comfortable here on an inhale, sweep the arms overhead.Rotate the pinky fingers toward each other, the palms of the hands face each other.
Draw the shoulders away from the ears as you continue to actively reach the fingertips up towards the sky.
Gently bring the gaze up and soften it to the space between your thumbs.
To release, gently bring the hands back to the front knee and tuck the back toes. Bring the hands to either side of the foot, left the back leg off the earth and press the hip up and back as you simultaneously bring the right foot back. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Stretches the legs, groin, hip flexors, torso, chest, and shoulders.
- Tones the thighs, hips, and butt
- Promotes balance and stability
- Increases Energy
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Knee or spinal injury