Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Half Moon Pose (Ard­ha Chan­drasana) invites you to tap into both the calm, bal­anc­ing ener­gy of the moon and the fiery force of the sun. The pose teach­es coor­di­na­tion and can help you under­stand the inter­de­pen­dence of the actions in your body. Half Moon Pose can also help you devel­op strong legs and open hips.


Per­form Extend­ed Tri­an­gle Pose (Utthi­ta Trikonasana) to the right side, with your left hand rest­ing on the left hip. Inhale, bend your right knee, and slide your left foot about 6 to 12 inch­es for­ward along the floor. At the same time, reach your right hand for­ward, beyond the lit­tle-toe side of the right foot, at least 12 inch­es.

Exhale, press your right hand and right heel firm­ly into the floor, and straight­en your right leg, simul­ta­ne­ous­ly lift­ing the left leg par­al­lel (or a lit­tle above par­al­lel) to the floor. Extend active­ly through the left heel to keep the raised leg strong. Be care­ful not to lock (and so hyper­ex­tend) the stand­ing knee: make sure the kneecap is aligned straight for­ward and isn’t turned inward.

Rotate your upper tor­so to the left, but keep the left hip mov­ing slight­ly for­ward. Most begin­ners should keep the left hand on the left hip and the head in a neu­tral posi­tion, gaz­ing for­ward.

Bear the body’s weight most­ly on the stand­ing leg. Press the low­er hand light­ly to the floor, using it to intel­li­gent­ly reg­u­late your bal­ance. Lift the inner ankle of the stand­ing foot strong­ly upward, as if draw­ing ener­gy from the floor into the stand­ing groin. Press the sacrum and scapu­las firm­ly again­st the back tor­so, and length­en the coc­cyx toward the raised heel.

Stay in this posi­tion for 30 sec­onds to 1 min­ute. Then low­er the raised leg to the floor with an exha­la­tion, and return to Trikonasana. Then per­form the pose to the left for the same length of time.

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