Let us focus now on a curious yoga pose, the Half Moon! Even though it is not difficult, it requires some balance and resistance to hold the position for the time required.
The balance represents two opposing energies which are connected to each other and create a greater power.
It is a great pose to empower specific parts of the body, as it activates many muscles, thanks to the particular position of your body.
What is Half Moon Pose?
Its original name is Ardha Chandrasana, translated as half moon pose, and it is inspired by both the moon and the sun, which are observed as two antithetical forces that require balance.
The moon is a soothing and spiritual power, while the sun stands for heat, power and light: with this pose, calm and energy get in touch, so you will be able to choose when to activate one of these forces at your will.
This balance is obtained by the lifting leg, counterbalanced by the standing one; the weight of your body is shifted from the torso to the standing leg, which means strength and balance are really required.
When you achieve these two elements, you will achieve the balance between the forces of the moon and the sun.
Why to choose Half Moon Pose?
Let us see now the benefits of this particular pose, but also what the main mistakes are.
Legs are the part which is mainly involved to the motion, extending and tonifying them as well as the hips.
The standing leg is strengthened because it supports the whole body, while the other one is lifted, enhancing the sartorius and other muscles of the higher part of your leg.
Considering the fact that each leg activates specific muscles, we suggest to alternate the legs for the standing and the lifting position.
But that is not all! If you lift one arm and keep the position for a minute or more, you will strengthen your shoulder, your back and torso too!
However, if you don’t have sufficient balance and strength to hold the position, you might have some problems and might hurt yourself.
The principal mistake is when you loose your balance and collapse: if you cannot hold the weight of your body, you might fall and hit neck, chest and arm on the ground.
Even if the position is not difficult, the balance required is high, so be extremely cautious when you do the Half Moon pose.
An useful tip is to make sure you have a firm base with your standing foot and slowly completing the pose, keeping the focus on your standing leg.
It is not suggested to use this pose if you have headache, migraine or low blood pressure.
What are the steps for Half Moon Pose?
Let us focus on the steps you have to follow in order to achieve a safe and easy Half Moon Position.
Before we start, make sure you have a yoga pad under your feet, so your standing foot will not hurt when you keep the position for some minutes.
First of all, stand with your feet together on the pad (this is your starting position), then widen your legs and make a T pose with your arms.
The next step is to slightly turn your standing foot (let us say the right one) outward, exhale and slowly bend your torso towards the same direction of your standing foot and touch your ankle with your right hand, while you raise the other hand to the sky.
When you reached this position, slowly move your right hand to the ground far from your ankle, then slowly lift the left leg until it creates a 90° angle with the other hand.
Use your finger tips to hold the position, make sure you do not hyper-extend the standing knee and keep the position for a minute, inhaling and exhaling, and finally go back to the first step and repeat the pose for 3-4 times, with pauses of half a minute.
If you are a beginner, you can use a support, like a wall, which can support your body and help you balancing it.
If lifting one hand is too difficult, you can put your hand to your hip and keep a better balance.
Some interesting preparatory poses might be the Triangle Pose, or the Revolved Triangle Pose, which do not require the same balance of the Half Moon, as both your legs are standing on the floor, but the movements are similar to this position.
It can also be a great preparatory pose for the Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose (also known as Prasarita Padottanasana) that requires great balance as well as the Half Moon one.
Finally, we recommend this pose especially to the women/men who practice Pilates along with yoga, as it is really helpful to activate you leg muscles and warm you up.
The Half Moon Pose is considered a position for beginners; however, the balance required is not simple, so try some preparatory poses, like the Triangle.
IF you have a partner, he/she can help you with the balance, but remember, the goal is to complete the pose by yourself, so try to have a firm balance as much as you can!
We hope you understand the steps to achieve a great Half Moon Pose and enjoy doing this position like we do!