[Pose Of the Week] Upward Crescent Moon Pose (Beginner)
Stretch your body from head to toe, improve your posture, strengthen your core and more with Upward Crescent Moon Pose.
Upward Crescent Moon Pose (Urdhva Anjaneyasana) – also known as Chandrasana, or One Foot Extended Upward Pose – is a beginner-level yoga pose that helps to strengthen and stabilize the core. It also stretches and strengthens your shoulders, chest, lower back, legs and ankles, improves posture, and may also aid digestion and help with back pain. It is also a calming and centering pose that may help to relieve stress.
This is a good pose for transitioning between other standing poses, and you may enter the pose by stepping either forward or back.
This is a fairly gentle pose, but if you have hypertension or heart issues, you should avoid this one. If you experience any shoulder pain during this pose, you may keep your arms parallel rather than pressing your palms together. For those with neck problems, gaze straight ahead in the pose rather than tilting your head back. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply as you stretch.
How to Do Upward Crescent Moon Pose, according to SarvYoga.com:
- First, come into the position of Tadasana (Mountain Pose), step your left foot about 2 feet back, and raise the heel of your left foot. At this time, both feet should be pointing forward. (You can also enter the pose by stepping the right foot forward.)
- Raise your hands to your chest with palms pressing together in Anjali Mudra.
- Now gently take your hands up towards the ceiling and press your palms together (Namaskar or Anjali Mudra). Breathe deeply.
- Visualize lengthening your spine upward while grounding your tailbone towards the ground.
- Make sure to keep your shoulders pressed down to keep space between your ears and arms.
- Stretch upward through your fingers as you embrace (hug) your shoulder blades in towards each other to help keep your shoulders from moving up towards your ears.
- Keep actively reaching up with your arms and think of stretching the pinky-sides of your hands upwards.
- Slowly try to arch your back to form a shape of crescent through your upper body and left leg. However, don’t take this yoga pose into a deep backbend, which could put strain on your lower back.
- Gently tilt your head back without compressing your neck and gaze upward towards the ceiling.
- Remain in this position for about 30 to 60 seconds and maintain deep and controlled breathing.
- To release the pose, gently straighten your spine and slowly lower your hands down to your sides.
- Repeat the same steps with your other leg.
(Image Source: ForteYoga.com)