Monday, April 27, 2015

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Crescent Lunge

Build strength in the legs, arms and core with a Crescent Lunge, Anjaneyasana sequence. Practice satya, or truth in your practice. Listen and notice the sensations in the body while transitioning into the posture, holding the posture, and then coming out of the posture. If the breath is not steady or the body feels unbalanced, when practicing satya, we may find a variation to better support the breath and the pose.

To move into Crescent Lunge, Anjaneyasana: From Downward Facing Dog, on an inhale breath, kick the right leg high behind you. On an exhale, draw the right knee in towards the chest. Pause there and draw the low-belly upward towards the ceiling and activate the core. Drop the right foot by the right thumb. (Grab onto the ankle if need and place the foot by the thumb). Stack the right knee over the ankle for stability and to protect the knee.

The back toes stay tucked under the weight is on the ball-mound of the foot. Option to practice satya. Notice if you feel unstable, drop down to the back knee for support. Another option if you are feeling unbalanced is to widen the right foot towards the right edge of the mat to create a “wider” foundation with the feet.  

On an inhale breath, bring the arms up over the head, palms facing each other. Spin the pinkies inward and straighten more with the arms. If the shoulders are tight, bring the arms straight, but more of a “V” shape, creating long, straight, lines of energy or prana. Lift and expand through the area of the chest, by broadening the area in between the collarbones.

Draw the shoulder blades flush to the back and breathe. Lengthen the tailbone towards the ground and draw the low-belly inwards, towards the spine. Notice the opening and stretch at the rip hip and psoas muscle. Breath into any areas that may feel tight. Create long and smooth, rhythmic inhales and exhales. Stay here for 3-5 full-rounds of breath.

To move into Anjaneyasana, with Airplane Arms: On an inhale breathe, lengthen the palms and crown of the head towards the ceiling. On an exhale breathe, slowly move the crown of the head and torso forward while moving the arms back behind you, like the shape of airplane wings. Spin the thumbs down and the pinkies up and reaching back behind you.

Reach the chest and heart space towards the front of the room while simultaneously reaching the palms towards the back of the room. Notice the length in the spine. Find a balance of ease and effort and check in with the breath. Sometimes when the body and mind are challenged, we tend to hold the breath. Bring awareness back to the breath, and focus on creating equanimity with each inhale and exhale.

Stay here for 3-5 breaths. On an inhale breath, come back to neutral, the torso upright and the arms over the head.

To move into a twist: On an exhale breath, twist open to the right. Keep the torso upright, notice if the torso is reaching in a diagonal fashion forward. Readjust the torso so that the crown of the head and spine are reaching for the ceiling. Notice the opening in the right shoulder. The gaze can be at the side wall or to challenge your balance, look back at the right thumb. Stay here and breathe for 3-5 round of breath, creating long and smooth inhales and exhales.

On an inhale breath, come back to center.

Move into the same sequence on the opposite side. Practice satya and work to maintain the balance of ease and effort in every posture. Move slowly and with mindfulness, while moving in and out of the poses. Focus on creating mindful transitions, as if you were moving in slow motion.

Come back into Downward Facing Dog, to regain a natural flowing breath or move into Child’s Pose.

Notice how you feel and acknowledge your efforts without judgment. Practicing satya daily, helps to keep the body and mind healthy, both in our yoga practice and in daily life. When we practice being truthful in our practice, we can better detect when the ego is driving our practice. Let go of the ego, and tune into the needs of your body, mind and spirit.

Satya is one of the 5 yamas, or restraints, written by Patanjali. Practicing satya in our yoga practice and in life, helps us to settle into reality with grace. Tune in, “listen” and get acquainted with your “true self” while honoring the body and mind.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga and breathing techniques. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono, 500 hr. cert. yoga instructor and owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a 500 hour certified yoga instructor, kids yoga instructor, and owner of In Rhythms Yoga. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. She guides adults, kids and families in the ancient tradition of yoga. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her daily personal practice. She is passionate about sharing her experience, inspiration, and dedication with her students. She is committed to being a life-long student and teacher of the practice. Christi carefully works with each student in order to find the variation that best serves their body. Work to find the balance of effort and ease in every posture, “sthira sukham asanam.” Yoga is accessible to all.

IRY offers regularly scheduled vinyasa and yin-based classes on, Sat., Sun. (Yin-Yoga) and Wed. mornings as well as Tues. and Thurs. evening classes.

*In Rhythms Yoga supports the fundraiser, “Yoga for Hope”.
Donation Based classes are scheduled for: Thursday, April 30th, 5-6:15 pm, 875 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., S.D., and Tuesday, May 5th, 5-6 pm, In Rhythms Yoga, Clairemont, S.D.

*Christi teaches family and kids yoga. Contact her for more info. on kids and family yoga.

*Christi uses Young Living Oils at the studio to enhance yoga class, meditation and in her home.  Visit to learn more.
*Go to to see the full yoga schedule, instructors and for private lessons.


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