Find self-expression and connection to the earth in Half-Moon Pose, or also known as Ardha Chandrasana. This photograph was captured on the the beautiful island of Kauai. According to Yoga Journal’s explanation, ardha means half and candra means glittering, shining, and having the brilliancy or hue of light, similar to the effects of the moon, emanating in the night sky.
To do the pose: refer to last week’s Clairemont Central blog to practice extended-triangle pose. (Note-you can stand against a wall for more support) From ext. triangle pose, inhale to gaze towards the front foot and bring the left hand to rest at the hip. Slowly trace the gaze in front of the right foot, approximately 6 inches. Exhale and bend the front knee. Inhale and gently shift the weight forward, towards the right foot and bring the right fingertips to the earth in line with the foot, or use a block to find support.
Exhale and press the right foot and heel into the earth, while straightening the standing leg. Straighten and lift through the extended-leg, reaching energy through the left hip towards the back heel. Lift the extended-leg parallel to the hip or as high as you can, honoring your body, feeling balanced and confident.
Continue breathing, finding sthira and sukha, balance of ease and effort in the breath and in the pose. Gaze can stay focused on the earth or begin to shift the gaze towards the side- wall or even towards the sky for more of a challenge, if it feels okay on the neck.
Option to lift the left arm upwards, like a wing pointed towards the sky.Focus the drishti gaze or focus point on a non-moving object, and continue breathing. Rotate the left rib-cage towards the sky and draw the low-belly inward towards the spine.
Stay balanced and mindful breathing in the pose for 3-5 full-rounds of breath. If you fall out, patiently come back in. It is our determined and compassionate efforts that make a difference in our lives. Determination will allow you to work through challenges while compassion will allow you to practice through the years, as you age.
Benefits of the posture include strengthening the ankles, legs, abdominal muscles, spine and buttox muscles. It stretches the chest, shoulders, and spine. It stretches the muscles of the groins, the hamstrings and the calf muscles. It also helps to build concentration, balance, release physical tension and stress and it helps with digestion.
Feel brilliant and balanced in half-moon pose. Balance every aspect of ourselves, both physically and mentally. When we take the time to care for ourselves, breathing, connecting, and finding balance in our lives, we can then go back into our day-to-day, prepared to take-on whatever the universe has to offer.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
In Rhythms Yoga is located in Clairemont, San Diego, in the Mt. streets. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com for class schedule and privates.