Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
A properly aligned Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) is all about setting yourself up well. We’ll approach this classic yoga balance step by step, fine-tuning along the way.
Ann Pizer |
While there are any number of ways to enter Half Moon Pose, we’ve chosen Warrior II because it sets your hip and foot alignment up nicely. Maintain the open position of your hips and keep your back foot turned out and you’ll be in good shape. Have a block handy just to the side of your front foot in case you want it under your bottom hand. The block can really help you for when it comes to opening your chest, which is one of the primary goals of the pose and much more important than having your hand on the floor.
1. Begin in Warrior II with your right foot forward and your arms extended.
2. Reach your right arm forward and let your torso follow it.
3. Bring your left hand to your left hip. Release your right hand to the floor or to the block outside your right foot as you simultaneously lift your left leg off the floor and extend it toward the back of the room. Your right knee stays bent as you come into the pose. The right hand rests directly under the right shoulder, bringing it about five inches to the outside of the right foot. Tent your right hand so that you are up on your fingertips.
4. Stack your left hip on top of your right one. Keeping your left hand on your hip helps you find the position. Your left leg should be straight and the foot strongly flexed with the instep parallel to the floor. Left toes pointing toward the left wall is another way to think about it.
5. Begin to straighten your right leg but keep a micro bend at the knee to avoid locking your joint.
6. Extend your left arm toward the ceiling, opening your chest to stack your left shoulder over your right shoulder.
7. Turn your head to lift your gaze up to your left thumb.
8. The right hand on the floor helps you maintain your balance but isn’t a place to dump your weight. Stay light on the right fingertips, possibly even lifting them off the floor.
9. After several breaths, lift your torso and step your left leg to the back of your mat to resume Warrior II. Repeat the pose with the left foot forward.
Featured Yogini @minna.skirgard