May 22, 2017

High Lunge
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 thumbyoga tutorial: high lunge
  • 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
  • Breathe
  • 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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About the author 


I am a yoga teacher who focuses on bridging the gap between what happens on the mat and life off the mat. Yoga is life – it is meant to be lived!

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