Body Moments ~ In the Moment with the Low Lunge to Open Your Hips!
Issue #024 - October 21, 2012
"If I'm losing balance in a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga." ~ T. Guillemets
For this month's Body Moment, I have chosen a strong hip opener, the Low Lunge yoga pose that I will also transition into the Low Crescent Pose. You will see, if you do a search on the "Crescent," the "High Lunge," the "Low Lunge" or the "Crescent Lunge" that all these names show various poses with the same names. It can be confusing.
I have chosen to call the "lunge" the pose with the torso straight. When the back bend is added, then I have chosen to call it a "crescent." The "high lunge" is when the back knee does not touch the ground, but the back leg is extended straight out. The toes of the back foot are pointing forward and the
balance is on the ball of the foot. The "low lunge" therefore, is when the back knee touches the ground, like I am showing.
You can make these poses high lunges, but the difficulty is increased significantly due to the additional balance required. If you practice the low lunge and feel comfortable and steady after a week or so, by all means progress to the high lunge. Your body will love you for it! The focus required to do this, or any held yoga pose will relax and free your mind. Your soul follows suit.
This progression of poses really does it all. It opens the hips, the shoulders and the chest. It is also a back bend and will even work on your balance. I love this progression of poses, even though they don't seem to be very popular in contempory yoga fitness classes. However, the strongest sensation, I feel, is in the hip opening. This may just be my issue. Try it and decide for yourself where you feel it the most.
A whole lot
of energy is held in the hips, our creative center, that heavily reflects our emotional state. Our hips reflect our relationship to ourselves, others and the world at large. This second Chakra energy area is foundational in nature. The molding and flowing necessary to form healthy relationships is of paramount importance for our body-mind-soul health as manifested in this area.
Starting Position for Low Lunge
Begin by coming to a kneeling position, then bring one leg forward, with your foot on the floor, as shown in the first picture.
Low Lunge, Sinking Lower
Make sure your front knee is in-line with your ankle. You should have 90 degree angles on both legs.
Next, inhale deeply and on the exhale walk your front foot forward as you sink your hips down toward the floor. Make sure you keep your front knee in line with your ankle.
If you test this and find you can go lower, don't allow your knee to extend beyond your ankle, but keep walking your front foot forward to keep them in line with each other. Stop when you can sink no farther. You should be feeling a strong pull in the front of your back hip. You can place your hands on your front knee as shown in the second picture.
When you have grounded yourself in this low stretch, sending energy equally to your front foot and your back knee, (see more on how to do effective grounding at Yoga Tips) inhale your arms up, keeping your torso vertical, with spine lifted. Relax your shoulder blades down at the same time. Keep your biceps close to your ears as you extend your hands and reach upward. Breathe hear and relax into this portion of the pose.
The Full Low Lunge, with arms overhead.
Notice that your chest, your shoulders and the hip of your back leg is opening with each exhale. Move into the pose deeper as your breath takes you. Do not force or push! If you are grunting, or holding
your breath or snorting, you are working too hard and out of your ego. Go only as far as you can breathe comfortably and evenly!
Make it your intention to hold this pose as long as you are able. Feel the tension within you and relax and breathe into it more. Hold the pose. Breathe through this tension as your energy is lifted higher. Breathe in this powerful energy and breath out and release a little more. Take in as much energy as you can and relax into the pose. On the next inhale, extend your arms upward even more!
Low Crescent Pose
After you have held this pose awhile, if you feel you can open even more, add the
back bend to transition into the full Crescent Pose.
Refrain from judging yourself if you can't balance well, or if you can't go deeper into the crescent. Notice where you are in the moment, and breathe into the realization that each day you practice, your body, your heart and your soul will open just a little bit more. Be content in the moment, where you are today!
While holding the pose, you may wish to affirm:
Or you may wish to create your own mantra to help you find your own creative and loving energy in regards to your unique needs.
- "I flow easily with my place in the world."
- "I am open to receive new Loving energy."
- "I am balanced and whole."
- "I release my judging and I am open to accepting."
- "I am Love."
- "I quiver with creative energy."
- "I have only loving relationships."
Make sure you
repeat this process on the other side to maintain your body's balance.
By practicing these poses every day for the coming weeks, you will find that your 2nd Chakra energy will open even more as you find your creative center. As you open and release the congestion in your hips, along with the emotional congestion, your relationships will improve as well.
The more you experience this energy shifting in your body, the better able you will be to discern what is best for you in your everyday life.
'May you energize your creative center in your hips. May you face the world open and non-judgmentally, from your lower core, when you release that which no longer serves you. May you take in new energy and openness that improves all your relationships, when you spend this moment with your body!'
Featured Guided Body Meditation
If you like to just close your eyes, and be fully guided into a body meditation, then this featured mediation is for you. If your life is a whirlwind and full of anxiety OR if you feel uncertain of your next steps in life the Grounding Body Meditation will help you. For a nominal price, you can have this body meditation to help you release your mind so you can re-connect with your heart to find direction! (This is a downloadable product only.)
Body Meditation Download
Only $2.99 US Dollars
For more fully guided meditations:
Body Meditation Videos.
New Articles this month:
- Lessons I learned on a hiking trail this summer, that reflects my path in life: Trust the Trail.
- Learn why restricted breath brings you ill health: Remember to Breathe.
- I built a labyrinth at my home in Southern Colorado. This article is a reflection of my labyrinth walk. You are going to love my labyrinth!: Reflections on a
Body Moments Back Issues
For access to all back issues, and more Body Moments meditations, please click on the link, Body Moments, Back Issues.