Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasana - The Yoga Collective

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Half Moon – Ardha Chandrasana

Pose Summary

Yoga Collective - Half Moon – Ardha Chandrasana

Steps

Step 1

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet together and arms alongside your body. Distribute the weight evenly in your feet. If you have a hard time staying balanced here stand with the feet parallel and hip distance apart.

Step 2

On an exhale, step your left leg about 3 to 4 feet in back of you and turn that back foot at about a 45 degree angle so that the back toes are pointed towards the top left corner of your mat. The front toes are pointed forwards and are parallel with the front edge of your mat. 

Step 3

Engage the belly by gently drawing the navel in and up towards the spine. 

Step 4

On an inhale, lift the arms to shoulder height, palms face down towards the ground. Relax the shoulders away from the ears as you keep the arms and fingertips active. Begin to reach forward with the front arm as shift your hips back. 

Step 5

When you can’t lengthen anymore hinge from the outer right hip and reach the right hand down as you reach the left arm up. This is Trikonasana.

Step 6

Bring your left hand to your left hip. Then, bring your gaze about 1 foot in front of your right pinky toe and start to bend the right knee eventually shifting the weight into that right leg as you lift the left leg up and back. Tuck the right hip underneath the right leg.

Step 7

The right fingertips come to a block or the ground.  Keep the gaze down for balance. 

Step 8

Straighten the standing leg without locking out the knee or gripping the toes. Distribute the weight evenly in your standing foot by lifting the inner arches and rooting down through the big toe and pinky side of the foot evenly.

Step 9

Lift and lengthen the lifted leg to hip height. The toes flex towards your face as the heel presses out as if it were pushing on an imaginary wall.  

Step 10

Extend the left hand up towards the sky and energize the fingertips. Ensure the shoulder blades are drawing down the back and away from the ears.  If you are feeling balanced and confident you may even try floating your right fingertips off the ground.

Step 11

Your gaze is either straight down for balance or for a challenge gaze straight ahead or up towards your hand (just be gentle not to strain your neck).

Step 12

To release, gently bend the standing leg and bring the lifted leg back to the earth. You can bring your hands to your hips as you return to mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits

  • Tones ankles, legs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen 
  • Stretches groin, calves and hamstrings 
  • Promotes balance, full body coordination and awareness

Contraindications

  • Low blood pressure, headaches, insomnia or diarrhea
  • Don’t bring the gaze up if you have a neck injury