With so many great applications and benefits, it’s a wonder your doctor hasn’t recommended Ardha Chandrasana to you! Even if you don’t have menstrual pain, sciatica, osteoporosis or gastritis, this pose can help effectively reduce stress hormones – thereby nurturing your body and lifting your mood.
To practice Half Moon Pose with a licensed yoga teacher, check out our yoga class schedules by location (Rochester, Syracuse, Albany).
Getting Into Half Moon Pose:
Begin in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) to the right side. Soften and bend your right knee, resting your left hand on your hip. Now, reach your right hand forward, beyond the outer part of your right foot – it should rest about 12 inches ahead of your right foot.
Firm your right hand and right heel into the floor. Then, straighten your right leg and, simultaneously, lift your left leg so it is parallel to the floor, or raised a bit further if you cannot keep it parallel. Extend actively through your left heel, toes facing forward, and keep the entire leg engaged.
Make sure you don’t lock your right knee – this could hyperextend it. Instead, keep your right kneecap pointing in direction with your right toes, not turned inward. Also, keep your hips open, stacking your left hip on top of your right.
Support most of your body’s weight with your right leg, using your right hand only to stay balanced. When you are poised, reach your left arm up towards the sky. As you do so, open your chest. Your arms should be in line with each other and perpendicular to the floor.
Gaze upward towards your left fingertips and hold Ardha Chandrasana for 3-6 steady, deep breaths. To come out, lower your left leg to the floor as you exhale and return to Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). Repeat to the left side.
Benefits of Half Moon Pose:
• Strengthens your legs, ankles, abdomen, buttocks and spine
• Stretches your groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, and spine
• Opens your hips and chest
• Builds coordination and balance
• Improves digestion
• Aids in stress relief
• Therapeutic for anxiety, fatigue, menstrual pain, backache, fertility, sciatica, osteoporosis, indigestion, gastritis and constipation