Ardha Chandrasana : Half Moon Pose

Half moon pose is a great asana for learning how to balance and grow awareness in what can at first seem a disorienting position. The pose can also ease lower-back problems, relieving sacrum pain, sciatica pain, and lumbar aches.The Sanskrit word ardha means "half," and the wordchandra means "moon," thus, this is the "half moon" posture.

Ardha Chandrasana - Detailed Description



"Standing straight on the left leg, bend the right leg and place the right foot on the root of the left thigh. Stand thus like a tree on the ground. This is called vriksha-asana." - Gheranda-samhita II.36
Steps:
  1. To begin the yoga pose, start with Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), while the left hand rests on your hip.
  2. Then, bend your right knee slightly by moving it forward and away from you.
  3. Move your right hand in the forward direction as well, a few inches away from the right foot.
  4. Exhale, and depress your right hand and your right heel against the floor for better balance.
  5. Lift your left leg up and bring it parallel to the floor.
  6. Then, raise your left hand and align it with your left leg; the weight of your body should be borne by your right leg.
  7. Look up and concentrate on your fingers and stay in this pose for a few seconds.
  8. Then, lower the raised leg to the floor and exhale simultaneously.
  9. Perform the same steps on the opposite side.
Benefits:
The ardha-chandra-asana is a basic stretching and balancing pose that benefits principly the lower back, abdomen and chest. It is equally suitable for use in your stretching routine as well as formal asana practice. the benefits can be numerated as:
  • Expands your chest and shoulders.
  • Increases mobility of your hip joints.
  • Increases neck mobility.
  • Lengthens your spinal muscles.
  • Strengthens and tones muscles of your thighs and calves.
  • Stretches your hamstrings and groin muscles.
  • Increases proprioception (the sense of position in space) of the feet and ankles.
  • Traditionally thought to improve digestion and menstruation, relieve stress and aid in healing diseases of your legs.
Tips and Help:
  • Repeat ardha-chandra-asana two to three times.
  • This pose is also one the postures that are are sequenced in surya-namaskar (the Sun Salutation).
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