Over the Moon
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
It looks like it should be pretty straight forward right? But it’s deceptively hard it and can send us into something that looks more like an interpretive dance than a graceful, balanced pose (hey, we’ve all been there!). It’s a great asana in an all level class as it can be modified or made more challenging with a bind. It’s usually sequenced somewhere in the middle of a standing pose series, perhaps found after Utthita Trikonasana.
Half Moon pose is one of those poses that is great for the whole body. It strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine and also effectively stretches the groins, hamstrings, and calves. It also improves co-ordination, balance, relieves stress and aids digestion.
Balance can be tricky in this pose so it helps to use a block, placed at the top right corner of the mat. Exhale and bend forward into a standing forward bend, place your right hand on the block and your left hand on your left hip. Lift up your left leg parallel to the floor and hold the posture here.
To take the pose further, you can raise the top arm, with an inhalation, perpendicular to the floor. Then, if your balance is steady, try slowly rotating the head to gaze up at the raised hand.
Remember to breathe smoothly throughout the pose. Don’t be afraid to fall down – it’s totally part of the process. Just set up and try it again! Relax your breath, focus your mind, and take it slowly. With practice and patience, you’ll be balancing gracefully in space, just like the moon.