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chapter 11 – full moon, half moon, total eclipse

Staying with our balancing theme, the next posture we are looking at is the Half Moon Pose.

Ardha Chandrasana (ard-ah chan-dras-ana) – Half Moon Pose

There are a few ways you might find yourself coming into a Half Moon. You could transition from your Warrior 3, lowering the same hand as the standing leg and opening up the hips, you might find yourself moving into it from a crescent lunge or even your triangle pose. Either way, this is what you’re looking for once you find yourself there.

Feet and Legs

Foundation of this pose:

One foot, pointing straight ahead, as it would be in Tadasana, and Warrior 3. Ensuring the corners of the feet and pressing down firmly and equally, this will help the body weight to come directly down through the centre of the foot rather than having the foot roll in or out.

The standing leg is strong and engaged. The back leg is lifted, is strong, straight and engaged. Engaging the muscles in the lifted leg will help it feel lighter and will make it easier keeping it lifted.

**Flex the back foot and push the heel towards the wall behind you.

Flexing the foot helps to keep the leg engaged and energetically draws you back to your centre.

Pelvis and Torso

Differing from Warrior 3, the pelvis in Half Moon is in an externally rotated position, facing the side wall. Almost as though your back leg just lifted up from your Trikonasana, Triangle Pose.

The torso extends from the pelvis, much like it would in Tadasana. Just keep it nice and straight. Standard pointers, drawing the bellybutton back towards the spine will mean your core starts to activate, which will help keep your balance.

Arm and Shoulders

I often cue to move into Half Moon with the top hand on the hip. This initially helps you to keep your centre of balance. Once you are stead here, extend the hand up towards the sky.

The bottom hand can either be resting on the earth or on a block, underneath the shoulder a few inches forward of the front foot. Your preferred hand height will depend on the flexibility in your hamstrings (stretch them out with this flow!), your proportions of arm and leg length, and your balance (the more balanced you are, the less weight you need in in your bottom hand, meaning it can free float away from the earth).

Head and Neck

Again, to move into the posture, start by looking towards your bottom hand. Then, once your found your balance, turn your gaze towards the sky (if this is comfortable in your neck). Turning the gaze upwards will help to keep the chest nice and open, and it will also challenge your balance, so keep those abs doing the work!

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