Crescent Moon

Happy Wednesday!! I love it when a yoga class yields a new way of approaching a pose I’ve been doing for ages. This week my yoga guru, K, spent more time than usual in a pose called Crescent Moon. It’s a standing pose usually tackled during warm-up following mountain pose. See picture below. What was different this week about Crescent Moon?

take the wrist and stretch overhead and then to the side. Up, and over.
take the wrist and stretch overhead and then to the side. Up, and over.

The common approach to Crescent Moon is to place the hands together overhead and spill over to the right or left stretching the opposite side. Notice in the picture left, (that’s a huge class. right?) how the yogis are grasping the wrist of one arm and stretching it up and over. This is the gem: don’t just bend. Grasp the wrist, stretch up high as far as is possible and then let the hip of the stretching side release and move away from the center. It is not about bending, but expanding one side more then the other. The goal is to keep both sides as long as possible so the stretch is isolated in the lats and the obliques – the area below the shoulder to the hip.

Hint: Do not let the bending side collapse instead STRETCH the opposite side longer. In the mirror, the result should look like a crescent moon (hence the name). If there are any sharp angles at hip or shoulder, you are bending. Start over and work on the length and arc of your stretch.

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