Half-Moon Pose /Ardha Chandasana
Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Step the left leg back (1/2 a legs length). Bend the forward standing leg. Inhale as you bring your right hand 6-10 inches in front of the little toe (in tepee fingers). Take the left hand to the left hip. Exhale and press the fingertips into the floor. Extend the crown of the head pointing away from you. Inhale and lift the back leg parallel or a little above to the floor. Roll the left shoulder back and press the heel of the standing foot into the floor. Gently straighten the standing leg and flex the foot (with toes pointing away from you). When you have balance, extend the left hand upwards with the palm facing away from you. Now turn the head and eye gaze towards the extended fingers. To come out of the pose, exhale and lower the raised leg to the mat. Return to the Mountain and repeat on the other side.
Visualization CommentsPicture the standing leg to be a strong tree trunk holding you secure. Imagine the standing foot growing bigger and rooting the sole of the foot to the ground keeping you steady. Now visualise yourself suspended between two sheets of glass.
Technical CommentsThe supporting hand should be positioned under the shoulder. When extending the top hand stack the shoulders on top of each other. The hips should also be aligned in similar way – with the top hip moving up and forward. Flexing the raised foot and extend out through the heel keeps the leg strong and active in the pose. Bringing the left hand to tepee fingers (finger tips pressed into the floor and palm lifted) to provide addition lift and support in the pose. The standing leg is holding all of the body weight in this pose. To avoid hyper-extending the knee, micro bend the standing leg. Lift upwards from the inner foot and ankle as you press the big toe, little toe and heel into the floor. Draw the navel to the spine and lift the core muscles in and upwards. Extend the tailbone out towards the raised foot.
- Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, & spine
- Stretches the groins, hamstrings & calves, shoulders, chest, & spine
- Improves coordination & sense of balance
- Helps relieve stress
- Improves digestion
Watch Out For:See technical comments...
- Neck problems (don't look upward)
- Headache or migraine; Low blood pressure
Yoga Counter Poses
Written By: Brenda Hamlet RYT 200
Brenda teaches yoga in Health & Fitness Centres and in small corporate settings across the city of Oxford, England. More information about Brenda can be found at www.pret-a-yoga.com.