Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Half Moon Pose

Posted by terrepruitt on November 3, 2021

I thought I had posted about this pose a long time ago because it is one of my favorite poses. We do it in the gentle yoga classes I teach. It is somewhat of an advanced pose because there is a lot going on. The class is gentle not beginner, but a lot of modifications are provided so that it can be done to the individual’s ability. As with many asana there is more than one pose that can be done to transition into it. The name of the pose is Half Moon Pose/Ardha Chandrasana.

I feel it is important to warm up the glutes and do a bit of balance practice before having my students do this pose.

In the photo I am doing a modified version with my hand on a block. The full version is without a block and looking at the skyward hand. I have only managed to balance without the block a few times and only for a few seconds.

What tends to happen when students get into this pose is the supporting foot moves. The supporting foot is to be in line with the body, but as soon as the leg comes up, the foot moves to an angle. One must really focus to keep that foot pointing in the right direction.

I often have students go from a Warrior 2 to a Half Moon, so if you start out in a Warrior 2 . . .

(doing the left side) the thigh is rotated out to the left with the toes pointing to the left, the knee is bent and the knee is over the ankle, the hips and chest are pointing forward, the arms are out, and the right leg is straight with toes pointed forward. . . (here, getting into half moon)

take a little hop to the left with the right foot so the weight can begin to shift to the left leg
as the weight shifts over to the left the leg begin to straighten it — here is where one must be mindful of the toes – they are to remain pointing out to the left
the left hand seeks out the floor, a block, or a chair, and we stand on a straight left leg
Note:  the block is about 6 inches (or more) away from the foot AND to the right
shoulders are stacked with chest to the front
hips points are stacked with pelvis facing front
right leg is in alignment with torso and hip, toes and knee facing forward
right foot is flexed

Other things to keep in mind in addition to the shoulders and hips remaining stacked, is to not bow into the low back, keep a neutral spine with the core engaged.

One can look up at the right hand.

Getting out is just like getting in there are many places to go from here. I like to have my students practicing using control and coming into the Warrior 2 again . . . gently.

As you can see a chair can be used instead of a block.  Hand can be on the seat or the back of the chair.  There are many things that can be used for stability as long as it is stable and safe.

This pose has a lot going on as I mentioned previously, it requires balance practice, strength, and even flexibility.

Are you familiar with this pose?  Do you like it?

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