Anjaneyasana – Crescent Moon.
- Begin from Adho Mukha Svanasana, (Downward Facing Dog)
- Lift the right leg up, look forward and step the right leg forward in between the hands and bring the left knee down onto the mat moving into Aschvasanchalanasana, (Low Lunge)
- Release the hands from the floor and stretch the arms up
- Bring the body more upright so that the front right leg is at a right angle and the knee is aligned above the ankle
- Place the top of the back / left foot to rest or press on the mat and keep the foot straight
- Drop the tailbone down
- Hold for a 5 breaths
- Release the arms down and the hands on either side of the front right foot returning to Aschvasanchalanasana, (low lunge)
- Release into Adho Mukha Svanasana, (Downward Facing Dog), then lift the left leg up and bring it forward into Aschvasanchalanasana, (low lunge) and then move into
- Anjaneyasana on the left side for the same duration of time
- Release the arms down and the hands to the floor for Aschvasanchalanasana, (low lunge).
Counterpose / Pratikryasana:
- Extended Balasana or Classic Balasana, (Child Pose)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Uttanasana, (Standing forward bend)
- Tones and strengthens the leg muscles, i.e. hamstrings and quadriceps
- Releases tight hips particularly when pressing top of back foot down onto mat & front foot presses down and forward – further activates Psoas muscle
- Opens and expands the chest facilitating breathing
- Releases stiffness and tensions between the shoulders, in the neck and in the back
- Corrects round and drooping shoulders
Cautions & Modifications:
- If one suffers from high blood pressure or any heart ailments, do not raise the arms up; rather bring the palms together in front of the chest in Anjali Mudra, (prayer position).
- As a variation and more of a stretch in the quadriceps / thigh muscles of the back leg, one can lean the body weight further forward, bringing the knee to pass over the front ankle
- This variation will also provide a deeper stretch in the hip area
- If one is prone to tight shoulders open the arms out wider apart
- Be cautious with any problematic or knee issues
- Place a folded blanket under the knee for added support and more comfort
- If one experiences cramping in the back foot, rather curl the toes under than resting or pressing the top of the back foot onto the mat.
Muladhara, (Root Center), Svadisthana, (Sacral Center), working on the hip area, Anahata, (Heart Center), if in an advanced practice, one moves in to a back bend and thereby opening the chest further.
Love and Light,
Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since 2007. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.yogawithjuanita.com or www.facebook.com/yogawithjuanita
Images: From Web and Nicki Friedlein from Lotus Studio