Half Moon
ARDHA CHANDRĀSANA (अर्ध चन्द्रासन)
(AR-dhuh chuhn-DRAAH-sah-nah)

 


‘Ardha’= half, ‘Chandra’= moon, luminous or shining, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Ardha Candrasana

Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Pose Type: Standing / Balance / Stretch

1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your legs hip distance apart, keeping your back straight, with your shoulders and arms down and back.
2. Spread your legs and turn your right foot out so that your toes are pointing to the right side. Spread your toes and root your foot into the mat.
3. Engage your right quadricep as you shift your weight to the right leg and bend your knee. Reach your right hand to the floor so that your fingertips are on the mat in teepee fingers (or your hand is flat on the floor). Your wrist should be in line with the right shoulder and foot.
4. While keeping your fingertips on the floor, press down into your right leg and start to straighten it. Be careful not to hyper extend your knee.
5. As you straighten your right leg, raise your left leg so that it is at hip level (parallel to the ground) and raise your left arm overhead and in line with your shoulders. You can either extend your hand up, so your palm is flat and facing forward, or in Guyan Mudra.
6. Rotate your chest so that it is open and facing forward as you square your hips and draw your navel to your spine. Make sure your hips and shoulders are stacked, and that your wrists are in line with your shoulders.
7. With your legs in a 90-degree angle, and your arms and shoulders stacked over each other, gaze up toward the sky and draw your shoulder blades back so that they are flat on your back.
8. Hold for several breaths (about 20 seconds to increase strength and flexibility) and breath smoothly.
9. When ready, slowly release and come back to Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
10. Repeat on the other side.

Common Adjustments
• Hips not stacked and facing forward
• Knees and/or elbows locked or hyper extended
• Neck Strained
• Shoulders hunched or dropping
• Back rounded
• Chest and/or hips not open
• Extended leg not parallel to the ground
• Wrists not in line with shoulders and/or shoulders not stacked
• Hips, knees, and ankle of supporting leg not in line

Modifications
• Students who need assistance with balance or alignment can either: a) practice with a block under their hand, b) with their forearm on a chair, c) practice next to a wall either with the wall at their back or they can place their extended foot to the wall, or d) they can bend their knee on the standing leg and not stretch the extended leg as high to build strength and balance.
• Students who find it uncomfortable to look up, or have vertigo, can look down or straight forward.
• Students with shoulder or neck injuries, or hypertension, should either: a) keep looking down, b) keep both hands on the ground and look down, or c) instead of raising the top arm, they can rest their arm along their body or on their hip.
• Students who are pregnant, have weakness in the knees, legs, back or hips, or have severe difficulty balancing, should practice against a wall to their support their backs.
• For students who would like a challenge, they can test their balance by either: a) practicing with their eyes closed, b) raising their hand from the floor and resting it on the standing thigh, or c) bending the knee of their extended leg toward their buttock.

Counter Poses
• Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana) or Extended Child’s Pose (Utthita Balasana)
• Forward Bend, Standing (Uttanasana) or Half Forward Bend, Standing (Ardha Uttanasana)
• Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
• Plow (Halasana)
• Cat (Marjaryasana)
• Rabbit / Hare (Sasangasana)

Anatomy
• Neck and Chest (Pectoralis Major and Minor)• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Biceps and Triceps• Abdomen (Core) and Obliques
• Upper (Cervical), Middle (Thoracic), and Lower (Lumbar) back and Spine• Hips (Psoas)
• Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus (Glutes)• Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Calf muscles• Ankles

Benefits
• Stretches and strengthens the shoulders, chest, spine, abdomen, hips, hip joints, groin, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, knees, calf muscles, ankles, and arches in the feet. This improves flexibility.
• Opens the shoulder, chest, and hips.
• Helps with posture and alignment of the shoulders and spine.
• Improves focus, balance, will power, coordination, concentration, and confidence.
• Relieves anxiety, stress, and fatigue.
• Improves digestion and circulation.
• Therapeutic for students with backaches, tension, sciatica, osteoporosis, indigestion, constipation, gastritis, acidity, and menstrual pain.

Contraindications
1. Students with neck, back, shoulder, hip, and/or back injuries, headaches/migraines, weakness in the knees and/or legs, diarrhea, insomnia, vertigo, eye strain, and/or low blood pressure should avoid this pose or seek guidance and modifications.
2. Pregnant students should not practice after the first trimester without modifications.
3. Students with hip or replacements should avoid this pose or practice with modifications.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Four:Heart, Love, or Anahata (Unstuck) Chakra. This is the love and equilibrium chakra. Its goals are balance, compassion, and acceptance. Its location is the heart.
Chakra Six:Third-Eye or Ajna (to perceive) Chakra. This is the intuition and projection chakra. Its goals are psychic perception and imagination. Its location is the brow.



Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbook

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 7 – Standing Postures as “Ardha Chandrasana – Half-Moon Pose”.
    • Watch the Chapter 7 video “Ardha Chandrasana” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.
  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, a variation of this posture can be found in Chapter 7 – Standing Postures as “Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana – Revolving Half-Moon Pose”.
    • Watch the Chapter 7 video “Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.

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