How to Do Revolved Crescent Lunge


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

Revolved crescent lunge (parivritta anjaneyasana) is a great twist to release toxins and tension. It's also one that can be a bit intimidating and make you feel like you are doing it wrong. It's not the most comfortable pose to hold, but that's why we practice yoga—to learn how to manage the uncomfortable sensations on our mats and be even better at managing the uncomfortable situations off of our mats.

There are a lot of things to keep in mind so that you don't get out of alignment and hurt yourself, so I'm going to break down this posture and what every part of your body should be doing while you are in it.

Start in a crescent lunge.

  • Point both toes forward so that your feet are parallel and about hip distance apart.
  • Step one foot back behind you and straighten your back leg.
  • Draw your back heel directly over your toes to keep your back leg active.
  • Bend your front knee so that it is stacked directly over your front ankle. Make that sure your knee never goes forward past your ankle.
  • Pull your belly button toward your spine.
  • Stack your shoulders over your hips.
  • Square both your shoulders and your hips to the front of your mat (i.e. make sure you do not have one hip or one shoulder out in front of the other).
  • Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.

Transition to revolved crescent lunge.

  • Bring your hands down to your heart's center (in front of your chest) with your palms pressed together.
  • Point your elbows out so that you have a straight line from elbow to opposite elbow with your arms.
  • Hinge forward at your hips. Keep your spine long and press through the crown of your head.
  • Slowly rotate toward your front knee without moving your hips.
  • If your right leg is in front, twist to the right. When your left leg is in front, twist to the left.
  • Hook your bottom elbow over your front knee with your palms still pressed together.
  • If your hips have moved, pull them back in line with each other. The twist is only through your abdomen.
  • As you inhale, find more length through the top of your head down your spine.
  • As you exhale, slowly move deeper into your twist.
  • Breathe deeply for five-eight breaths.

To release, you can drop your hands down to your mat next to your front foot so that you are in a low lunge. Always do both sides so that you are evened out!

Alternate Option: If you would like to get deeper into your twist and release some of the work in your legs from the balance, you can lower your back knee to your mat and keep everything else in your body as it is.

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer

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