Our prenatal Yoga series continues with Crescent lunge. Crescent lunge (or High Lunge) is a great way to build leg strength and work on balance during pregnancy. It can be useful if you’re suffering from sciatica, something that a lot of women deal with during pregnancy.
You can move into Crescent lunge in two ways.
From All Fours/Table position
Starting on your hands and knees, move your right foot forward to just outsid
e your right hand. Tuck your back toes (on your left foot) and raise your left knee off the ground. From here, use your right hand on your right thigh to lift yourself up so that your shoulders stack over your hips. Extend your arms straight up overhead, leaving the arms parallel or interlacing all fingers except the index fingers. Lift your chest to the sky as your shoulder blades melt down. Use your breath to lengthen your side body while your legs remain strong and steady with the back leg straight and the front leg in a 90 degree angle (knee stacked over ankle). Take three to four deep breaths in the pose before lowering your hands back down, using your thigh for support if needed. Bring your back knee down to the ground and return your right leg back to the starting position. Move through a few Cat/Cow (rounded spine, arched spine) before doing the same on the left side.
From Downward Facing Dog
If you’re feeling really good in your pregnancy and you’re not experiencing any lower back pain, you can move into Crescent lunge from Downward Facing Dog. Simply lift your right foot and bring it forward in between your feet or to the outside of your right hand if your belly is big. The left leg is already lifted so maintain the lift. Use your hands to lift you up into Crescent lunge and then back out as described above.
If you find Crescent lunge strenuous but beneficial, try using a chair under your front thigh for support. This can help you reap the benefits of the pose without overtiring you.
While in the pose, be sure to lengthen from the sides of your body without lifting your shoulders to your ears. Think about pushing your heart forward while you open your collarbone.
A steady, deep breath is part of any yoga pose so be sure to take a few full breaths in Crescent pose before changing sides. Don’t rush through the pose but relax into it. You’ll feel stronger and more energized from the pose and your breath.
Check back for more Prenatal Yoga poses as our Prenatal Yoga series continues.