Setup and Key Actions of Crescent Lunge
From downward facing dog, step your right foot forward between your hands (taking as many steps as you need to get there). Make sure your right foot is flat on the floor, and your right knee stacked directly over your right heel. Stack your left (back) heel over the ball of your foot, and press the back of your left thigh up toward the sky, keeping your back leg straight and strong. Press your fingertips into the floor, and stretch your chest (not your chin!) forward.
Keep your back thigh lifted and your front knee bending as you place your interlaced hands onto your front thigh. Press your hands into your thigh and feel the corresponding lift in your belly (especially on the right side). Keep that support as you lift your torso upright, extending your arms alongside your ears. Draw your low ribs back. Stretch your legs apart from each other as though you were stretching your mat in two, and reach up through soft fingers.
If you like, you can begin moving into a slight backbend, keeping the backbend primarily in your middle and upper back, broadening and lifting your chest and letting your head and arms follow the movement backward. Maintain length in the back of your neck, and avoid tossing your head back. To come out of the backbend, lead with your chest, your head and arms coming out of the backbend last.
Modifications for Crescent Lunge
For a less-intense lunge, keep your back knee on the floor, a bit behind your hip. You can place a folded blanket under your knee for more support.