How to Achieve the Perfect Half Moon Pose
Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon Pose is an excellent stretch and strength building pose.
- 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
- From extended triangle pose, inhale, lift the upper body 3 to 6 inches away from the floor and reach the right hand forward about 12 inches past the pinky toe of the right foot
- Exhale, press your right hand and right heel firmly into the floor and straighten your right leg while simultaneously lifting the left leg off and parallel to the floor
- Extend actively through the left heel to keep the raised leg strong but do not hyper extend the standing knee.
- Make sure the kneecap is aligned straight forward and isn’t turned inward Rotate your upper torso to the left
- Stack the left hip on top of the right hip but allow the left hip to move slightly forward.
- Balance your weight mostly on the standing leg
- Press the lower hand lightly to the floor, using it to support your balance
- Beginners variation: To develop greater balance, practice this pose against a wall. The pressure of the raised heel against the wall will help you maintain your balance. If you have difficulty touching the floor with your hand use a block at its highest height until your balance is steady enough to lower it gradually to its middle then lowest heights. Most beginners should keep the left hand on the left hip and the head in a neutral position, gazing forward.
- Advanced variation: Inhale and raise the top arm perpendicular to the floor. Firm the top scapula against the back and find your balance while slowly rotating the head to gaze up at the raised hand. To increase the challenge of this pose, raise the lower hand away from the floor and rest it on the standing thigh. Balance solely on the standing leg for 15 to 30 seconds.
Breaths: Hold for 5 to 10 breaths
Avoid 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. Also avoid if you have headaches/migraines, low blood pressure, loose bowels, and/or insomnia.