Stretch of the Week

An excellent yoga posture for the hips, Crescent Lunge also strengthens the legs and brings awareness to overall posture and balance.

Begin standing with feet a few inches apart. If you are unsure about your balance, stand with your right side about arm’s length away from a wall, placing your right hand lightly on the wall for support. Step your left foot back about two to three feet, resting on the ball of that foot with the heel lifted. The exact distance between your feet will be determined by flexibility, strength and leg length. The right foot should still be pointing straight ahead, with the knee directly above the ankle so that the shin stays vertical.

Now, bring energy to the left leg, firming the thigh and extending back through the heel. To avoid overarching the lower back, lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. If you can’t drop the tailbone while keeping the left leg straight, it’s okay to slightly bend the left knee. The feeling of lengthening the tailbone toward the floor is important because it creates the foundation for a tall, lifted torso, as well as preventing lower back compression.

Now, stretch your arms toward the sky. With your palms facing each other, reach up and out through your pinky fingers. Relax the tops of your shoulders away from your ears, and soften your throat and jaw. Soften the front ribs in toward your spine, while simultaneously firming the bottom tips of your shoulder blades into the back of the heart. Breathe with intention, slowly and fully. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat on the other side.

This pose feels especially nice after long periods of sitting and after repetitive activities such as walking, running, cycling and cross-country skiing.

Lori Rasmussen, a Yoga Alliance Registered Instructor, teaches classes at Saguaro Day Spa in Sturgeon Bay. For class times and more information, visit