Half Moon Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Chandrasana (pronounced: are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna)

Half Moon Pose is a standing yoga posture that will challenge your leg muscles and your ability to balance. It can also be a fun pose to transition into from Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)! The two poses are similar in their full-body extension; Half Moon is like a balancing variation of Triangle.

Level: Intermediate

Category: Sitting

Breath: Deep Abdominal Breathing.

Keep the mouth closed with tongue resting on the roof of the mouth. Simply allow the breath to enter & release through the nostrils. Keep your awareness on the abdomen & notice how it starts to balloon & expand on the inhale. The exhale, the abdomen relaxes. Do not try & control the breath in anyway. Allow yourself to follow the journey of the breath so we connect the mind & body together into the present moment. Breath in to a count of 1-2-3 & breathe out to a count of 1-2-3.

Results: When you are fully in the present moment the mind no longer has power over you. This allows you to create a new reality for yourself rather than being conditioned by the old mind. Use your affirmation whilst holding the position.

The focus on the breath allows you to enter into the Alpha state which is a state where the brain waves are much slower than the usual waking state of Beta. Doing this consciously allows you to interrupt the neurological pathways within the brain that are causing negative blocks, emotions & behaviours.

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Perform Utthita Trikonasana to the right side, with your left hand resting on the left hip. Inhale, bend your right knee, and slide your left foot about 6 to 12 inches forward along the floor. At the same time, reach your right hand forward, beyond the little-toe side of the right foot, at least 12 inches.
  • Step 2: Exhale, press your right hand and right heel firmly into the floor, and straighten your right leg, simultaneously lifting the left leg parallel (or a little above parallel) to the floor. Extend actively through the left heel to keep the raised leg strong. Be careful not to lock (and so hyperextend) the standing knee: make sure the kneecap is aligned straight forward and isn't turned inward.
  • Step 3: Rotate your upper torso to the left, but keep the left hip moving slightly forward. Most beginners should keep the left hand on the left hip and the head in a neutral position, gazing forward.
  • Step 4: Bear the body's weight mostly on the standing leg. Press the lower hand lightly to the floor, using it to intelligently regulate your balance. Lift the inner ankle of the standing foot strongly upward, as if drawing energy from the floor into the standing groin. Press the sacrum and scapulas firmly against the back torso, and lengthen the coccyx toward the raised heel.
  • Step 5: Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then lower the raised leg to the floor with an exhalation, and return to Trikonasana. Then perform the pose to the left for the same length of time.

Benefits

  • Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine
  • Stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine
  • Improves coordination and sense of balance
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves digestion

Beginner's Tip: Many beginning students have difficulty touching the floor with their lower hand, even when resting it on the fingertips. These students should support their hand on a block. Start with the block at its highest height and, if your balance is steady and comfortable, lower it down first to its middle height, then finally if possible to its lowest height.

Deepen This Pose: Advanced students can raise the top arm, with an inhalation, perpendicular to the floor. Firm the top scapula against the back. Imagine there's a wall in front of you, and press the top hand actively into this pretend wall. Then, if your balance is steady, try slowly rotating the head to gaze up at the raised hand.

Avoid This Pose If:-

  • If you have any neck problems, don't turn your head to look upward; continue looking straight ahead and keep both sides of the neck evenly long.
  • Headache or migraine
  • Low blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia

Tweet This: MedYoga Half Moon Pose Affirmation: “Strength and courage fill my body cells.”

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