//Anjaneyasana: Crescent moon lunge
I am feeling very full at the moment. The experiences from the last year, some joyful, some painful, are within me. It is time for me to move inward, to reflect on the positive and negative transformations I have taken over the last 12 months, and begin the process of letting go. Like a snake shedding her skin, or an aged phoenix turning into ash, I release the old ways and avail myself to rebirth. I practice forgiveness with myself and others, accept the imperfect, and extinguish beliefs that no longer serve me. Like the moon in her fullness ready to retreat into the new, I am eager to enter into the New Year with a lightness of being, and the courage to try again at being me and a creature of this great world.
Anjaneyasana, crescent moon lunge, depicts this movement beautifully. Inherently, this pose fosters a spirit of determination, power, confidence, and courage. It is a posture of believing in yourself, the strength that you possess, and trusting your process. In so, it manifests the phases from its namesake, the moon. As we are full and receding to new, allow your heart to be filled with the lessons of the past and use your breath to exhale out the old energy, of what is already done, releasing it into the universe. Living in the new, use your inhale to manifest beginnings. Breathe in new energy and affirm what you are reaching for in this New Year, with confidence and courage.
Somatically, crescent moon lunge integrates the whole body. It stretches the legs, groin, and hip flexors while strengthening the thighs, hips, and core. It opens the front of the torso, chest, and shoulders and in this expansion helps improve energy and reduce fatigue.
From downward facing dog, or table top (hands and knees), exhale and step your right foot forward in between your hands. Align your right knee directly over your right heel.
Set your left knee onto the mat and adjust to create a stretch between the groin and the top of the left leg. Release the left foot so that the top of the foot is on the mat.
Inhale and lift your torso upright and place your hands onto your right knee. Here, make sure that you are in proper alignment. Pull the right femur into the right hip and begin to engage the low belly to lengthen the low back and tuck the tailbone under. Open through the chest and release shoulders down along the back.
If you feel comfortable here, guide your arms up and over your head, palms facing into the center or touching. To challenge your balance, you can turn your gaze upwards.
To release, exhale hands back to either side of the right foot. Step back to downward facing dog or table top. Repeat on left side.
Place a soft block or pillow under back knee for additional cushioning.
Consult with a doctor before practicing this position if you are experiencing: high blood pressure, knee injuries, and spinal/neck injuries. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, keep hands on knee.