Yoga Pose of the Month: Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
Sanskrit Name and Meaning
(are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna) ardha = half candra = glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light; usually translated as "moon"
Step 1: Start in Extended Triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana) with the right foot forward. Bring your left
hand to your hip, gaze at your right foot and bring your right hand down to the floor or a block outside of the right foot and about 12 inches beyond your foot.
Step 2: Lift your left leg parallel to the floor, press out through your left heel and press into the floor with your right foot. Lengthen both legs. Be cautious not to hyperextend (lock) the right knee.
Step 3: Rotate your torso to the left, and gaze forward. Reach your left arm for the ceiling, but draw the scapula down your back. Imagine there is a wall in front of you into which you can press your left hand.
Step 4: Press the right hand lightly into the floor or block. Lengthen the tailbone towards your left heel. Imagine there is a wall behind you that you can press into with your back, and bring your gaze to the left hand if ok for your neck.
Step 5: Stay for 30-60 seconds. Gently lower the raised leg. Transition to Triangle pose with the left foot forward and repeat these steps on the other side.
Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine
Stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine
Improves coordination and balance
Helps relieve stress and anxiety
If you have any neck problems, don't turn your head to look upward; continue looking straight ahead
Beginners may want to keep the hand of the top arm on the hip
If you have a migraine, insomnia or low blood pressure, you may want to avoid this pose