Crescent Lunge is often used as a transition into other postures, so it is vital that we are fully aligned in the pose in order to transition to the next posture smoothly.
Some misalignments can become repetitive if not caught early, and adjusted frequently. A few of these misalignments can create aches and pains in our bodies that will build up over time. Just like any other posture, we should be checking in with each body part every time we enter Crescent Lunge to ensure safety.
In Crescent Lunge we need to be aware of knee health, leg strength, core support, hip alignment, shoulder rotation, and spinal curvature. That’s a lot to keep track of! To help you out, here is a brief list of the most common misalignments in Crescent Lunge, starting from the ground up:
1. Front Foot Forward
Often our feet turn in or out dramatically, and this in turn misaligns our knees, hips, and spine.
In Crescent Lunge, making sure your foot is pointing directly forward (as much as your body will allow) keeps your knee stacked over your ankle so you don’t create stress in the ligaments. You should also make sure that you can see your toes in front of your bent knee to encourage this knee protection.
2. Strong Back Leg
Another common misalignment is forgetting about the back leg and not pushing into your heel as much as possible.
To keep your balance and stretch your hamstring, ignite the muscles down your elongated back leg, and while you grip the ground with all five toes, push into your heel as if you want it to juice an orange placed under it.
3. Hips Forward
It is extremely common when you are pressing deeply into the back foot (as you should) that you forget to align the hips and end up creating a twist at the pelvis that might tweak your low back. This can happen especially when you start to take the pose deeper into a backbending variation.
At the top of that strong back leg that is pressing backwards, your hip should be pressing forward so that your pelvis is square with the top of your mat.
4. Supported Spine
An eager yogi might press right into a deep backbend in their Crescent Lunge before strengthening up. This puts a lot of pressure in the lumbar spine and middle back.
To deepen the strength in your core and hip region, pull your belly in and make sure both hips face forward. Then pull your ribs in to take any excess arch out of your lower back. Once this feels strong you might take your Crescent Lunge into a backbend by releasing the ribs forward, but only if you have strengthened your legs and core enough to support your spine first.
5. Your Shoulders and Ears are Fren-emies
Every pose reminds us to relax our shoulders away from our ears; “melt them like butter down towards your hips,” “allow the blades to be lovers that kiss behind your back,” “lift your heart to drop your tense shoulders as if there is a waterfall running down your spine.”
No matter how we say it, your ears and your shoulders are not buddies. They don’t like hanging out in yoga, so separate them! This is about good posture, pure and simple.
Drop your shoulders down your back. Squeeze the shoulder blades together behind you, forming a Cobra shape in your upper back. This opens your chest and helps you lift up through your arms and fingertips into better posture not only in Crescent Lunge, but also in Warrior I, Chair Pose, at your desk, watching TV, and while you're driving.
Isn’t that what we are meant to be doing anyway; taking our yoga off the mat and into our every day lives?
Finding alignment in the basic yoga postures in your practice will help bring you into better alignment throughout your practice as a whole, and it will help strengthen your entire body.
How do you stay aligned in Crescent Lunge? Share your tips and tricks with the rest of the community in the comments below!