Anjaneyasana Yoga Pose of the Week!
Also Known As Cresent Moon/low lunge
What does it mean?
Anjana means to smear with, anoint, or honor.
How do you do it?
1. Start in runner’s lunge pose with the hands supporting you at either side of the leading foot.
2. Gently place the back knee down then let the front knee extend slightly over the foot.
3. Take hands off the mat as you inhale stretch them up above the head, while relaxing shoulders down on back.
4. Exhale sink hips to deepen stretch.
Try placing something under the knee or above it on the leg that is on the mat if your knee is injured or uncomfortable. Hyper extend the knee that is bent in front of you. Relax forward and the knee is stretched, the posture may be more comfortable.
Variation Cresent Warrior/High Lunge
1. Place hands down on mat as you lift your back knee. All ten toes should be pointing forward.
2. Inhale sweep arms back up, relax shoulders down on back. Palms should be facing each other.
3. Exhale sink hips to deepen stretch. Front thigh should be parallel to mat, back leg is strong and supportive.
4. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
5. Then exhale, release the torso to the left thigh, sweep your hands back onto the floor, returning to runners lunge.
Stretches the quadriceps and tendons and ligaments in the knee.
Muscles in the arms and shoulders are toned and strengthened.
Child’s Pose, Balasana
1. Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
2. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
3. Fold over your upper body and bring your forehead to the ground. Stretch your arms over your head and place your palms on the floor for active child’s pose. For passive child’s pose, rest your hands on the floor along your body with your palms up. Now your torso and legs are balanced on the backs of your upper arms.
4. Balasana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Beginners can also use Balasana to get a taste of a deep forward bend, where the torso rests on the thighs. Stay in the pose from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.
This is a restful pose that is kind and gentle to your body. It gently stretches the thighs, hips, & ankles. It also calms the brain and can relieve stress and fatigue. Women can use this pose to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps - I can tell you from personal experience that it works!!
(see previous “healing through yoga” entries here!)