High Lunge / Crescent Lunge
I don’t know that Crescent Lunge has a Sanskrit name – I’ve never referred to it, or heard it referred to, by a Sanskrit name, so I’m going to stick with High Lunge, or Crescent Lunge. I usually call it High Lunge when I teach.
High Lunge is a great preparatory pose for Warrior I, as it is nearly identical, with the exception of the placement of the back foot. In Warrior I the back heel is down on the ground, with the foot at a 45-degree angle; in High Lunge the back heel is lifted and you are on the ball of the back foot. Let’s break it down.
From Downward Facing Dog:
- Step the right foot in between the hands, next to the right thumb
- Stay on the ball of the back foot
- Bring hands to hips as you lift the torso
- Hips face directly forward
- Lift the arms by the side of the ears
- Pull pubic bone towards navel to prevent overarching the low back and keep the core active
- You can keep your arms parallel, or press your palms together
- Reach back through your left heel
- Keep your shoulders away from your ears
- Gently bring the gaze up to your thumbs, without crunching the neck
- Repeat with the left foot forward
- If you’re having difficulty with the balance, keep the hands on the ground, or on two blocks
- If your shoulders are tight, keep your arms shoulder-distance apart, or wider, when they are raised.
- Place your hands on your hips if you have a shoulder injury or if you are only focusing on the lower body
- If you have any neck issues, keep the head in a neutral position and do not look up at the hands (like in the photo)
- Stretches the groin and legs
- Strengthens legs and pelvis muscles
- Improves balance
- Stretches and strengthens the ankles, calves, thighs, and back
- Improves mobility in shoulders and opens chest and lungs
- Develops stamina, balance, and coordination
- Opens the hips and chest
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