HALF MOON - ARDHA CHANDRASANA

I would really love to know what students think of this pose.  I see people struggling with the balance and fighting to straighten their arms and legs without kicking the person next to them.  Do people enjoy half moon or are they just doing their best not to fall over? 

There is a lot to love about this pose and my hope is that students can start to enjoy it and experience the space that they can create in their body.

As with most postures, the struggles arise when students rush into them, without mindfully moving and breathing.  Half moon doesn’t look overly complicated – one foot, one hand on the floor and ta-dah!  But if you’ve tried it, you know how tricky it can be to really stand firmly on one leg while stacking the hips and perhaps even shifting the gaze from the floor to the ceiling. 

There will be days where balancing seems all that much harder.  Being tired, sick or hungover can affect our ability to balance.  But something I always try to remember when in half moon is to take up as much space as possible.  Every single limb is activated in this pose and as soon as you start to let the energy seep out, then you will lose the strength of the pose. 

Key alignment points

  • Ensure the standing foot is facing the front of the room
  • Press down firmly through all four corners of the standing foot – pada bandha
  • Engage through the muscles of the standing leg (start to pull them towards the bone)
  • All limbs need to be energised  - try to take up as much space as possible

Modifications

  • Use a block to support the bottom hand.  Remember the block has 3 levels so use the level which is going to give you enough height to find space and extension. 
  • Keep the top hand on the hip to help open it so that they are stacked.  Once you feel comfortable then start to extend the top hand towards the ceiling.

Variations

  • Hover the bottom hand off the floor so that the standing foot is the only thing connected to the earth
  • Bend the knee of the lifted leg and reach back with your top hand to catch the top of the foot