Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana is a standing and balancing pose that stretches the hamstrings and improves balance and core strength. Most importantly, this pose helps improve ‘proprioception’ (sense of your body’s position in space, bringing in more poise to day-to-day activities.)
The Half Moon Pose opens up the chests and shoulders and stretches the groin muscles. It is beneficial in strengthening and toning the muscles of the thighs and calves. It helps to elongate the muscles of the spine and increases neck mobility. It tones the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and hips. This pose stimulates the torso organs.
This pose promotes proper functioning of the kidney and helps to cure enlargement of the liver and spleen. It provides relief from stress, anxiety and fatigue. Half Moon Pose is good to cure digestive disorders and is therapeutic for sciatica and lower back pain.
Getting into pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Initial Position: Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
Drishti or Gaze: Forward
- Get into the initial position. Considering you are bent on the right trying to touch your right ankle, twist it slightly to the right and extend your left arm towards the ceiling.
- Bend your right knee and bring your left foot slightly closer to your right foot. Place the fingertips of your right hand in front of your right foot and press firmly.
- Take a deep breath as your straighten your right leg while lifting up your left leg at the same time. Try to bring it parallel to the floor or higher than the waist level.
- Spread up your left arm and point your fingertips directly towards the ceiling. Gaze at your left thumb and hold the pose for as long as comfortable.
- Exhale, release, and repeat with the other side. Practice it twice along with other poses.
Relax in Crocodile pose if you feel exerted.
- Half moon stretch – Practice version: This variation prepares your abdomen for the intense stretch of a Half moon pose. Stand tall and bring your arms to the front. Interlock your fingers, twist your wrists so that your palms face outside. Now, stretch up your arms over your head and twist lower to a side. Go as low as possible while keeping the fingers interlocked. Keep your back straight at all times. Repeat on the other side too. Once you master an angle less than 90 degrees, move on to practicing Trikonasana and then the Iyengar variation of Ardha Chandrasana.
- Half Moon Pose – Iyengar Version: This variation will help you get more space and derive more enjoyment from performing the pose. If you are unable to touch the floor with your hand, place a block by your side while performing this pose and use it just like you would use the floor. Gradually, decrease its height till you are able to stretch completely in a half moon pose.
- Revolved Half Moon Pose (Parivratta Ardha Chandrasana) – Advanced Version: This variation stretches each and every muscle of the body and cleanses the body and mind. In this variation, the simple difference is when you bend on your left side, you use your right arm to do so and not the left one. This creates an additional wringing in the abdomen which levels up the stretch.
Practice this pose against a wall for more support and balance. This will help you learn correct alignment of the pose and will prevent the possibility of falling.
- Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
- Wide-legged forward bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
- Dancer’s pose
Do not perform this pose, if you are suffering from the following ailments:
- Low B.P.
Last Update: Aug 2nd, 2014
Next Update: Oct 2nd, 2014