Half moon pose

Ardha Chandrasana

Categories:
Balance, Side bend, Strength, Hip opener, Shoulder opener

The half moon pose strengthens and stretches the legs, hips, abdomen, shoulders and arms. It also improves balance, coordination and concentration.

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Step by step explanation

The half moon pose can be done by

  1. Start by standing upright with the arms relaxed alongside the body.
  2. Now take a big step back to the right and place your right foot pointing forwards and your left foot pointing out to the left side. Try to align both heels with each other.
  3. Reach both arms out to the side and then bend your right knee deeply. Place your right hand on the outside of your right leg and left hand to the left hip. If you cannot easily touch the ground, place something under your right hand.
  4. From here slide your right hand forward and a little to the right, as you shift your weight forward into your right leg - extending the torso forward.
  5. Extend and straighten your right standing leg, while you lift your left leg as far as you can up from the ground.
  6. Stack your left hip on top of the right and reach your left heel back away from you. Try to keep your left leg as straight as possible.
  7. If you feel stable you can extend your left arm up towards the ceiling, and gently turn your head up looking to your left fingers. If this is too much, keep your left hand on your hip and gaze down.
  8. Keep reaching your arms and legs away from each other and breathe steadily.
  9. If you can, stay for at least five long deep breaths.
  10. To come out of the pose, lower your left leg down and shift the weight back to both legs, stepping back to the standing position that you started in. From here change sides and repeat with your left leg.
  11. This time take a big step back to the left and place your left foot pointing forwards and your right foot pointing out to the right side. Again, try to align both heels with each other.
  12. Reach both arms out to the side and then bend your left knee deeply. Place your left hand on the outside of your left leg and right hand to the right hip. Like on the right side, if you cannot easily touch the ground, place something under your left hand.
  13. From here, slide your left hand forward and a little to the left, as you shift your weight forward into your left leg - extending the torso forward.
  14. Extend and straighten your left standing leg, while you lift your right leg, as far as you can, up from the ground.
  15. Stack your right hip on top of the left and reach your right heel back away from you. Try to keep your right leg as straight as possible.
  16. If you feel stable, you can extend your right arm up towards the ceiling, and gently turn your head up looking to your right fingers. If this is too much, keep your right hand on your hip and gaze down.
  17. Keep reaching your arms and legs away from each other and breathe steadily.
  18. If you can stay for at least five long deep breaths.
  19. To come out of the pose, lower your right leg down and shift the weight back to both legs, then step back to the standing position that you started in.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • This pose requires a lot of your balance, so avoid this pose if you are experiencing things like headaches, low blood pressure or dizziness.
  • Avoid turning the head up when you have a neck injury.
  • Avoid locking the knee in this position.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • If it is hard to balance, you can use a block or small and steady object, like a book, to place your hand on, instead of placing it on the floor.
  • You can also use a wall as support by either placing the foot that is in the air against it or performing the position slightly leaning against the wall.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses