Yoga Asana-Anjaneyasana

 

HIGH LUNGE POSE

Anjaneyasana

(AHN-jan-nay-AHS-uh-nuh) 

The name Anjaneya is a matronymic for Hanuman whose mother’s name is Anjani. Hanuman is a central figure in the epic Rāmāyaṇa and an important Iṣṭa-devatā in devotional worship. The name crescent pose is typically used in English.

Steps:

  1. From Uttanasana, line the fingers up with the toes and step the right foot back.
  2. Keep your back leg straight and extend strongly through your heel while your front leg is bent to 90 degrees (the front shin perpendicular and thigh parallel to the ground).
  3. Come up onto your fingertips and elongate the front of your spine, from the release of the groin to the forward movement of your collarbones.
  4. Gaze forward. Press both feet firmly into the ground and extend your spine from that foundation.
  5. Inhale into the extension of your back leg.
  6. Exhale into the elongation of your spine.

Modifications and props:

If your hips are tight and your back leg does not extend easily while your front leg is at 90 degrees, place your hands on blocks to bring your spine closer to its natural curves and, if needed, unbend your front leg until there is a sense of rising up from the earth.

Variations:

Raise your arms up into the sky reaching through the finger tips (Crescent Pose)

Benefits:

Stretches the hamstrings and quadriceps; elongates the spine

Contraindications: Tight hamstrings; knee injuries