Ardha Chandrasana Yoga Pose: Half Moon Pose
The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, “ha” and “tha”, which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies. The moon has a strong influence on water, the Half Moon pose calms and makes us withdraw internally.
Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon pose is an asana which is a highly effective strengthener for the legs and ankles. You have to sort of squint to see the half moon, try drawing a half circle from the raised top hand through the lifted foot to the standing floor and supporting hand.
Benefits of Half Moon Pose
- Extends your midsection and shoulders
- Expands versatility of your hip joints
- Expands neck versatility
- Extends your spinal muscles
- Cures extension of the liver and spleen
- Advances appropriate kidney capacity
- Reinforces and tones muscles in your thighs and calves
- Extends your hamstrings and groin muscles
How To Do Half Moon Pose
- Stand straight with some distance between your legs
- Open both your hands widely, exhale and move your right hand to the floor, press it down
- Straighten the right leg. As you do that, lift the left leg off the floor. Make sure it’s parallel to the floor
- Find your balance, and keep the left leg strong. Just make sure you do not lock the right knee. The kneecap must be straight and not aligned inwards
- Twist your upper torso towards your left, and move your left hip slightly forward
- Place your left hand on your left hip
- Place your head in a neutral position as you gaze forward
- Place your body weight on the leg that you are standing on
- Your lower hand must be pressed to the floor such that it helps you maintain balance
- Make sure you firmly push the scapula and sacrum against the back of your torso
At first, try this posture with support such as with a chair. Then when you are ready to reach down and up simultaneously, you will reintegrate parts that feel separate from the whole. Once you’re comfortable with a chair as a support, use a box or blocks that are lower than the chair.
Do not practice this pose if you have blood pressure or are currently experiencing headaches, insomnia or diarrhea. Women who are pregnant should also avoid this pose.