Benefits: Crescent lunge engages the whole body from toes firmly on the mat to finger tips reaching to the sky. This pose awakens and expands the body while remaining grounded. You must ground down to lift up.
How to get into Crescent Lunge: From Downward Facing Dog, lift your fight foot off the mat, rounding your spine upward, draw your right knee in toward your chest and plant your right foot between your hands with your toes spread and pointing to 12 o’clock. Lunge into your right leg, your knee stacked above your ankle. With the strength of your left leg, shift weight into the toe mounds of your left foot, drawing the heel up and above the toe mounds. Continue to draw the back of your left knee up towards the ceiling, moving towards a straight leg. As you inhale, reach arms high, upper arm bones in line with your ears, shoulders drawing down your back, and tailbone pointing towards your mat, pelvis tilting upward. Palms face towards one another, pinkies turning in towards each other. Press into both feet equally. For added stability, create width across your mat, bringing your feet further apart laterally while maintaining a deep lunge. This pose acts as a strength builder and offers stretch to your hip flexors and side body. Hold for multiple ujaii breaths. On an exhale step your right foot back to Downward Facing Dog and continue to left side.
Modification: Lower your back knee to the floor. Continue to draw your tailbone toward the mat and your low belly in and up.
This is a pose that everyone can do. Feel your solid strength while allowing for buoyancy.
Upward Facing Dog
Benefits: This pose can uplift your mood, combat fatigue, improve your posture, stimulate abdominal organs, and tone your arms and legs. It opens your back, shoulders, chest and stretches your lungs so you can powerfully fill them with invigorating oxygen. Up Dog lets you expand forward and your youness shine.
How to Get into Up Dog: From lying on your belly, place your hands on the floor outside of your ribs. Press your hands down into the floor to lift your torso up. Press the top of your feet into the floor. Lift your hips, thighs, knees, and shins off the floor. Pull your hips forward. Bring energy to your legs; activate the muscles. Shine your chest forward while working your upper arm bones back and your shoulder blades away from your ears. Lift your head high.
If your legs don’t come off the floor, have no worries, energize your leg muscles here and with continued practice, they will.
Modify by leaving your legs, or your legs and pelvis both on the floor and not pressing your arms straight. Keep a big bend in your arms, wrap your elbows back, press your hands firmly into the floor to lift your chest up to a lower extent but with just as much shine to explore this upper back bend.