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Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

Crescent Lunge Pose, also known as Anjaneyasana, is a dynamic and energizing yoga posture that combines a deep lunge with a graceful overhead reach. This pose is known for its ability to strengthen the legs, open the hips, and expand the chest, making it a staple in many yoga sequences. It’s often included in vinyasa flows and is particularly beneficial for building stamina, flexibility, and balance.

Crescent Lunge Pose

The name Anjaneyasana is derived from the Sanskrit word "Anjaneya," a reference to the Hindu deity Hanuman, who is often called Anjaneya because he is the son of Anjani. This pose symbolizes the boundless energy, courage, and devotion of Hanuman, embodying the spirit of reaching for something higher.

Anjaneyasana is pronounced as "AHN-jah-nay-AHS-ah-nah." Practicing the correct pronunciation helps deepen your connection to the pose and its spiritual roots.

Anatomy of Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

In Crescent Lunge Pose, various muscle groups and joints are engaged:

  • Legs: The front leg is deeply bent, engaging the quadriceps and hamstrings, while the back leg extends straight, stretching the hip flexors and calf muscles.

  • Hips: The pose involves a deep hip flexor stretch, particularly in the back leg.

  • Core: Engaged to maintain balance and stability.

  • Chest and Shoulders: Open and lifted, enhancing respiratory function and posture.

  • Arms: Extended overhead, engaging the shoulders and upper back.

Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana): Steps and Instructions

Steps to Achieve Anjaneyasana

  1. Start in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Begin on your hands and knees, then lift your hips up and back, forming an inverted V shape.

  2. Step Forward: Inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning your knee over your ankle.

  3. Lower Your Back Knee: Exhale and gently lower your left knee to the mat, keeping your toes tucked or untucked based on your comfort.

  4. Lift Your Torso: Inhale, lift your torso upright, and extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other or touching.

  5. Engage Your Core: Draw your navel in towards your spine to stabilize your lower back.

  6. Square Your Hips: Ensure your hips are squared to the front of the mat, drawing your right hip back and your left hip forward.

  7. Hold the Pose: Keep your gaze (drishti) forward or slightly upward, maintaining a long neck and relaxed shoulders. Hold for several breaths.

  8. Release: To exit, exhale and bring your hands back to the mat, stepping back into Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat on the other side.

Crescent Lunge Pose

When to Do It

Crescent Lunge Pose is versatile and can be practiced at various times during your yoga routine:

  • Warm-Up: Helps to prepare the body for deeper stretches and more dynamic poses.

  • Mid-Practice: This can be incorporated into sun salutations or standing sequences to build heat and endurance.

  • Cool-Down: Offers a gentle hip opener and stretch for the legs after more intense postures.

Preparatory Poses

Preparing your body with certain poses can help you perform Anjaneyasana more effectively. Some beneficial preparatory poses include:

  • Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): Warms up the spine and hips.

  • Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana with hands on the floor): Opens the hips and prepares the legs.

  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Stretches the hamstrings and calves.

Follow-Up Poses

After practicing Anjaneyasana, it’s important to follow up with poses that continue to stretch and balance the body. Recommended follow-up poses include:

  • Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I): Deepens the stretch in the hip flexors and strengthens the legs.

  • Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana): Provides a deeper hip stretch.

  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana): Stretches the hamstrings and releases the lower back.


Anjaneyasana is closely associated with the Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana) and the Heart Chakra (Anahata). The Sacral Chakra, located in the lower abdomen, governs creativity, sensuality, and emotion. The Heart Chakra, located at the center of the chest, governs love, compassion, and emotional balance. Practicing this pose helps to open and balance these chakras, promoting emotional well-being and creativity.

Sacral Chakra

Mantra for This Pose

A powerful mantra to accompany Anjaneyasana is "Om Shanti," which translates to "Peace." This mantra helps to calm the mind and promote a sense of inner peace and tranquility.

Alignment Cues

To perform Anjaneyasana safely and effectively, pay attention to these alignment cues:

  • Front Knee Over Ankle: Ensure your front knee is directly above your ankle to protect the knee joint.

  • Back Leg Straight: Keep your back leg extended and active, pressing through the ball of your foot.

  • Square Hips: Draw your right hip back and your left hip forward to keep your hips squared to the front.

  • Engage Core: Engage your abdominal muscles to support your lower back.

  • Lift Through Chest: Lift your chest and reach your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders relaxed.

Duration of Hold

For beginners, holding Anjaneyasana for 5-10 breaths is a good start. As you become more comfortable with the pose, you can gradually increase the duration to 15-20 breaths. Always listen to your body and avoid overstraining.


In Anjaneyasana, your gaze (drishti) can be directed forward or slightly upward, depending on your neck's comfort and flexibility. This helps to maintain focus and balance.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

Physically, Anjaneyasana strengthens the legs, opens the hips, and improves balance. Spiritually, it encourages an open heart and a sense of reaching for higher goals, embodying the spirit of Hanuman. The dynamic nature of this pose can help cultivate a deeper connection with your inner strength and aspirations.

Beginners’ Tips

  • Start Slow: Begin with a shorter hold time and gradually increase as you build strength and flexibility.

  • Use Props: Place blocks under your hands for additional support if needed.

  • Focus on Breath: Maintain a steady, even breath to support the pose and reduce tension.

  • Engage Core: Gently engage your core to support your lower back and maintain alignment.

Who Should Not Do It

Anjaneyasana may not be suitable for everyone. Avoid this pose if you have:

  • Recent or chronic hip or knee injuries

  • Severe lower back issues

  • High blood pressure

Always consult with a healthcare professional or experienced yoga instructor before attempting if you have any concerns.

Who Should Do It

Anjaneyasana can be highly beneficial for:

  • Those looking to improve hip flexibility and leg strength

  • Individuals wanting to open their chest and shoulders

  • Practitioners aiming to enhance their overall energy and vitality

  • Yogis seeking to balance their Sacral and Heart Chakras

Benefits of Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

The benefits of practicing Anjaneyasana are extensive:

  • Strengthens Legs: Builds strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

  • Opens Hips: Stretches the hip flexors and psoas muscles.

  • Improves Balance: Enhances overall balance and stability.

  • Expands Chest and Shoulders: Opens the chest and stretches the shoulders.

  • Boosts Energy: Increases stamina and overall vitality.

  • Balances Chakras: Opens and balances the Sacral and Heart Chakras, fostering emotional harmony and creativity.

Variations of Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

To keep your practice interesting and challenging, you can try these variations:

  1. Twisted Crescent Lunge: Bring your hands to prayer at your heart and twist towards your front leg, hooking your opposite elbow outside your knee.

  2. Crescent Lunge with Backbend: Arch your back slightly and look up, deepening the stretch in your chest and shoulders.

  3. Crescent Lunge with Arm Bind: Reach your arms behind your back and clasp your hands, opening your chest further.

Modifications for Crescent Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

If the full pose is challenging, consider these modifications:

  • Hands-on Blocks: Place blocks under your hands for additional support and stability.

  • Knee on Mat: Keep your back knee on the mat for a gentler variation.

  • Shorten the Stance: Reduce the distance between your front and back foot to make the pose more accessible.

Common Mistakes

Avoid these common mistakes to practice Anjaneyasana safely:

  • Overextending Front Knee: Ensure your front knee stays directly above your ankle to avoid strain.

  • Dropping Back Hip: Keep your back leg active and engaged to maintain proper alignment.

  • Arching Lower Back: Engage your core to support your lower back and avoid excessive arching.

  • Holding Breath: Maintain a steady and even breath throughout the pose.

Safety and Precautions

  • Warm-Up: Always warm up your body before attempting this pose.

  • Listen to Your Body: If you feel any pain or discomfort, come out of the pose immediately.

  • Use Props: Don’t hesitate to use blocks or other props to support your practice.

  • Consult a Professional: If you have any medical concerns, consult with a healthcare professional or experienced yoga instructor.

Additional Preparation Tips

Direction to Face

Face east on your mat to align with the energy of new beginnings and personal growth, enhancing the spiritual benefits of the pose.

What to Wear

Wear comfortable, stretchy clothing that allows full range of motion. Avoid loose clothing that could interfere with your practice.

Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance

Practice in a quiet, calm space. Enhance your practice with uplifting essential oils such as citrus or peppermint to invigorate your senses.

Music for This Pose

Choose energizing, instrumental music or nature sounds to maintain a focused and motivated state of mind.

Anjaneyasana, or Crescent Lunge Pose, is a powerful and versatile yoga posture that offers numerous physical and spiritual benefits. By incorporating this dynamic pose into your practice, you can build strength, improve flexibility, and cultivate a deeper connection to your inner warrior. Remember to approach the pose with mindfulness, respect your body’s limits, and enjoy the journey toward greater physical vitality and emotional balance.

Happy yoga-ing!


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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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