High Lunge Pose (Ashta Chandrasana)

High Lunge Pose, Ashta Chandrasana, (ahh-SHTAH chahn-DRAH-sah-nah)

ashta (eight) + chandra (moon) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Dragon Flying Low, Crescent Lunge Pose, Crescent High Lunge Pose

Pose Type: Flexibility, Balancing, Strengthening, Standing

Difficulty: Beginner

woman doing a high lunge pose

Come into this high lunge to stretch your hip flexors and prepare for Warrior I Pose

high Lunge Pose Fundamentals

High Lunge or Crescent Lunge is the perfect pose to come into after a long day of sitting all day. It creates space in your hip flexors and invigorates your spine. This standing balancing pose tones your hamstrings, quadriceps, and knees. 

Open your heart in this slight backbend.

high Lunge Pose Benefits

  • Tones the core as you use it to power you in and out of the pose. Connect to your center line and drive the navel to the spine. Open up through the rib cage and expand into the heart. 
  • Opens the hip flexors by aligning our hips parallel to each other and pointing them forward. If you cannot point them forward do not force it but rather allow it to come with practice and time. 
  • Lengthens the side body and obliques by lifting you through all sides of the torso. 
  • Improves balance and posture by challenging our center of gravity. It lights a fire in our glutes and hamstrings making it the perfect pose to practice stability.
  • Strengthens the calves, shins, and quadriceps by using it as the main base that holds us in the pose. 

How To Do The high Lunge Pose: Step-By-Step

a gif of a woman doing a high lunge pose

How To Get There:

1. Begin at the top of your mat and come into Forward Fold.

2. Step your left toes back, lower your left knee and keep the back heel lifted, come into Low Lunge. If you have sensitive knees place a blanket under your knee to create padding and support. Remember that by straining and forcing into the pose you might make the perfect shape but you will miss out on the yoga benefits that come through proper alignment. Allow the proper muscles to engage and the proper ones to support.

3. Inhale grounding into your foundation, engage your core as you lift, waking up the legs. Energetically pull the inner thighs to the midline. 

4. Sweep the fingertips up overhead, palms facing each other as you draw your shoulders back and down. Open your chest, energetically reaching your heart center to the sky

5. Strong legs. Strong heal-to-knee connection on that front foot rooting down. 

6. Charge the back leg from the ground up, think mountain pose legs.

7. Stay here for 3-6 breaths then gently release and repeat on the other side.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Keep the back knee lowered for more stability and ease in the pose.
  • Careful not to hyperextend through the front knee by aligning the knee under the ankle.
  • Remember the neck is an extension of the spine so careful not to crank here and find a nice long neck.
  • Keep the torso in line being mindful not to hyperextend the back.
  • Remember to engage the core as it protects the back. 

high Lunge Pose variations & Modifications

  • Interlace the fingers from behind and open the heart center for a deeper stretch in the spine
  • Practice High Lunge variation keeping hands on thighs or hips for better stability 
  • High lunge arms extended forward with palms facing each other.
  • If you are straining to find balance, place a block on either side of your mat and raise the floor to meet your hands. 
  • Reach your arms up and back for a high lunge with a backbend.
a gif of a woman doing a high lunge pose with a backbend

Precautions & Contraindications:

Knee Injury:

Align the front knee over the ankle to avoid injury and if you feel any pain in this asana, honor your body and come out of the pose.

Back, Neck & Shoulder Injuries:

Avoid practicing if you have a back, neck, or shoulder injury. Practice a gentle chair practice instead.

Warrior II 

Low Lunge

Cactus arms

Preparatory Poses

Low Lunge 

Gate Pose

Downward Facing Dog

Counter Poses

Forward Fold

Downward Dog

Cat-Cow

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Anna Novelo

Anna Novelo

Anna is a freelance lifestyle writer and yoga teacher currently living in sunny San Diego, California. She uses the tools of storytelling and yoga to convey a message of hope and inspiration. Her mission is to make the tools of yoga accessible to as many people as possible especially those in underrepresented communities.

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