Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): Steps, Benefits, and Contraindications

Low Lunge Pose, Anjaneyasana, Crescent Low Lunge Pose, Crescent Moon Pose, Dragon Flying Low - SharpMuscle
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Low Lunge Pose, also known as Anjaneyasana or Crescent Lunge Pose or Dragon Flying Low, stretches the hip flexors, quadriceps, and chest while strengthening the legs and core.

Information

Known as:Low Lunge Pose, Anjaneyasana, Crescent Low Lunge Pose, Crescent Moon Pose, Dragon Flying Low
Sanskrit name:अञ्जनेयासन
IAST:Añjaneyāsana
Pronunciation:AHN-juh-nay-AHS-uh-nuh
Type:Hip-opener
Level:Beginner to intermediate
Total time:30 to 60 seconds
Focus:Legs, core
Drishti:Nose tip;
The front hand
Chakra:Root Chakra (Muladhara), Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana), Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)
Indications:Hip flexors, quadriceps, groin muscles, core, balance, flexibility, chest, shoulders, stress, anxiety, relaxation, calmness
Counterposes:Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)
Preparatory poses:Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana), Crescent Lunge (High Lunge or Alanasana), Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Follow-up poses:Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II), Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
Contraindications:Knee injuries, Hip injuries, High blood pressure, Low back aches and pains, Pregnancy

Meaning + Mythology

The Anjaneyasana is derived from the Sanskrit name which made of two words — Anjaneya + Asana:

  1. Anjaneya” = “son of Anjani,” and refers to the Hindu deity Hanuman
  2. Asana” = “pose” or “posture”

The mythology behind Anjaneyasana, or Low Lunge Pose, is rooted in Hindu mythology and is associated with the deity Hanuman, who is considered one of the greatest devotees of Lord Rama.

The story goes that Hanuman was born to Anjana, a female monkey, and Kesari, a male monkey. According to some versions of the myth, Anjana prayed to the god Shiva for a son, and Shiva granted her wish by reincarnating himself as her child. Others believe that Hanuman was born from a drop of Shiva’s sweat that fell to earth.

As a child, Hanuman was mischievous and would often play pranks on the sages who lived in the forest. One day, he pulled the tail of a sage, who cursed him with the condition that he would only remember his powers when he was reminded of them. As Hanuman grew up, he forgot about his powers, but when he was reminded of them, he became an unstoppable force.

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Hanuman is typically depicted in a kneeling position, which resembles the Low Lunge Pose. This pose is believed to represent Hanuman’s devotion, humility, and strength.

In the yogic tradition, Low Lunge Pose is associated with the Manipura chakra, located at the navel, which is associated with strength, power, and transformation. By practicing this pose, one can cultivate the qualities of devotion, humility, and strength associated with Hanuman, as well as stimulate the Manipura chakra.

Benefits of Anjaneyasana (Crescent Low Lunge Pose)

The Low Lunge Pose is a powerful pose that helps to strengthen the body and mind, while simultaneously fostering a sense of stability and groundedness. The pose has a variety of physical and mental benefits, making it an excellent complement to any yoga practices., has various physical and mental benefits, which are listed below:

Physical Benefits:

  • Deeply stretches the hip flexors, quadriceps, and groin muscles
  • Improve flexibility and relieve tension in hip flexors, quadriceps, and groin muscles areas
  • Stretch and strengthen the muscles in the chest and shoulders, improving posture and breathing
  • Strengthens the legs and glutes to maintain balance, which can help to build strength and stability in legs and glutes areas
  • Opens up the chest and shoulders
  • Improves balance and core strength
  • Increases circulation and energy flow throughout the body

Mental Benefits:

  • Calm the mind
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Cultivates mindfulness and focus
  • Increases self-confidence and inner strength
  • Promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness

Low Lunge Pose (Crescent Moon Pose) Practice Guide

One leg is stretched forward with the knee bent at a 90-degree angle, while the other leg is extended behind with the knee dropped to the ground in Anjaneyasana. The arms are lifted overhead, and the chest is opened.

The Dragon Flying Low is often practiced as a warm-up for more intense yoga sequences or as a standalone posture to stretch the hips, thighs, and groin. It can also help to enhance balance, leg strength, and flexibility in the hip flexors and quadriceps.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Begin in a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the ground.
  2. Step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning the knee directly above the ankle.
  3. Lower your left knee down to the ground and slide your left leg back until you feel a comfortable stretch in your left hip flexor.
  4. Keep your right knee directly above the ankle and press the top of your left foot into the ground.
  5. Inhale and lift your torso up, bringing your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
  6. Draw your shoulder blades down and back, and lengthen your tailbone down towards the ground.
  7. Keep your gaze forward or lift it up slightly.
  8. Hold the pose for a few deep breaths, feeling the stretch in your right hip flexor and left quadriceps.
  9. To come out of the pose, release your arms and place your hands on the ground on either side of your right foot.
  10. Step your right foot back and repeat the pose on the other side, stepping your left foot forward.
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Tips

The pose is a deep hip-opening yoga posture that requires balance, flexibility, and strength. However, here are the tips to help you practice this pose with ease and alignment:

  1. Start with a strong foundation: You can begin in a high plank pose, then step one foot forward between your hands, making sure your knee is directly above your ankle. Lower your back knee to the ground, keeping your toes tucked under.
  2. Lengthen your spine: As you inhale, lengthen your spine and engage your core, lifting your arms overhead. You can keep your palms together, or separate them shoulder-width apart.
  3. Maintain a comfortable posture: As you elevate your arms, keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears. This will help to reduce neck and shoulder tension and strain.
  4. Engage your glutes and legs: To deepen the pose and activate your muscles, engage your glutes and press your front foot firmly into the ground. This will help to strengthen your legs and build stability in the pose.
  5. Use your breath: Focus on your breath as you hold the pose, inhaling and expelling deeply through your nose. This can aid in the relaxation of the mind and the discharge of tension in the body.
  6. Modify as needed: If you find the pose too intense, you can place a block or cushion under your back knee for support. For balance, bring your hands to your hips or place them on the ground.
  7. Practice on both sides: Perform the pose on both sides to balance the body and ensure that both sides receive equal attention. Hold the pose for an equal amount of time on each side.

Modifications and variations

The modifications and variations listed below can help make the position more accessible or challenging:

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Modifications:

  1. Use blocks: If reaching the ground is challenging, place blocks on either side of the front foot to rest your hands on.
  2. Use a strap: If reaching the back foot is challenging, use a strap to reach it or to help you maintain balance.
  3. Lower the back knee: If the back knee is sensitive, you can decrease pressure on the knee joint by lowering it to the ground.
  4. Use a blanket or pad: If you have knee or hip joint pain, place a blanket or pad beneath the knee for extra cushioning.
  5. Keep the hands on the hips: If raising the arms overhead is challenging, keep the hands on the hips or bring them together in prayer position in front of the chest.

Variations:

  1. Twisted low lunge: From the Low Lunge Pose, place one hand on the ground and twist the opposite arm toward the ceiling, opening up the chest and shoulders.
  2. Crescent lunge: From the Low Lunge Pose, lift the back knee off the ground and raise the arms overhead, extending the spine and engaging the core.
  3. High lunge: From the Low Lunge Pose, lift the front foot off the ground and straighten the front leg, coming into a high lunge position.
  4. Revolved high lunge: From the High Lunge Pose, twist the torso and place one hand on the ground while extending the other arm toward the ceiling.
  5. Low lunge with quad stretch: From the Low Lunge Pose, bring the back foot up toward the buttocks, grasping the foot with one hand and pressing it toward the glute.

Precautions and contraindications

While Crescent Low Lunge Pose, or Anjaneyasana, can provide many benefits, there are certain precautions and contraindications to keep in mind. Here are the precautions and contraindications, as well as why and how they could impact your practice:

  • Knee injuries: If you have a knee injury, it’s important to be cautious with Low Lunge Pose. The pose involves bending the front knee at a 90-degree angle, which might place strain on the knee joint. To avoid aggravating a knee injury, you can modify the pose by placing a blanket or cushion under the knee or by placing your hands on blocks to raise the torso higher.
  • Hip injuries: If you have a hip injury, be mindful of how deeply you sink into the pose. Going too deep can cause pain or discomfort in the hip joint. To avoid this, focus on keeping the hips square and lifted, and don’t sink too deeply into the front knee.
  • High blood pressure: Low Lunge Pose can be intense and may raise your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, be cautious and practice the pose mindfully, avoiding any strain or pressure in the body. To modify the pose, you can place your hands on blocks or on your hips instead of lifting the arms overhead.
  • Low back aches and pains: If you have low back pain, avoid sinking too deeply into the posture, which might cause lower back compression. Instead, focus on lengthening the spine and keeping the hips lifted.
  • Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, modify the posture by placing your hands on your hips or putting a block under your front foot. Be mindful of any discomfort or strain in the body and practice the pose mindfully.

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