Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

Type: Standing
Level: Intermediate

Steps:
Stand tall. Lean over to the side to bring your hand to the ground slightly ahead of the foot on the same side of the body. Raise the back leg and start to raise the other arm up to the ceilng. Try to place the gaze at the hand raised above you.

Props & Assistance:
•You can perform the pose with your back leaning against a wall
•Rest your hand on a block if you struggle to reach the ground
•Keep the gaze looking down to the floor if that helps the balance

Variations:
•Complete the pose on both sides

Preparatory poses:

To do this pose you need to be open in the muscles of the legs, knees, shoulders and hips. Good poses to help with this include:
•Downward dog
•Extended hand to big toe pose
•Wide legged forward bend
•Standing forward bend
•Extended side angle
•Tree
•Extended Triangle (common preceding pose).
•Warrior II

You also need to be strong and stable in the legs, feet, hips, abdominals, obliques, back muscles and neck. Poses which help include:
•Downward dog
•Standing half forward bend
•Gate
•Plank
•Wide legged forward bend
•Mountain
•Extended side angle
•Warrior II
•Tree
•Extended triangle

Follow up poses:
No hard-and-fast rules about what should follow this pose, but you might try:
•Triangle
•Wide legged forward bend
•Do not transition directly into Warrior III from this pose
•Good counter poses include: Childs, Wide legged forward fold, Garland pose.

Benefits:
•Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine
•Stretches the groin, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and spine
•Improves coordination and balance
•Helps relieve stress
•Improves digestion

Theraputic applications:
•Anxiety
•Backache
•Osteoporosis
•Sciatica
•Fatigue
•Constipation
•Indigestion
•Menstrual pain

Caution/Avoid:
•Headache or migraine
•Low blood pressure
•Diarrhea
•Insomnia
•Neck problems – look straight ahead
•If you are thinking of starting yoga and have a medical condition, it is advisable to check with your doctor.

Sarah Williams is a Qualified Yoga Teacher based in London with an online presence @sarahlucyyoga on Instagram and Facebook. She also blogs about yoga and health & wellbeing topics on her website. Sarah’s focus is Vinyasa Flow, Hatha and Ashtanga styles of yoga and she completed part of her training in India.
As well as being a yoga teacher Sarah is also a Chartered Accountant. She fell in love with yoga as it was a release from the office, it taught her to value her health and improved the attitude she had towards life and herself. As a teacher she is able to pass on the benefits of yoga to her students and finds the job incredibly rewarding.

She has completed her 300 hr advanced teacher training from Sampoorna Yoga Goa in January-February 2019. If interested in Yoga Teacher Training please browse our Teacher Training page

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