Half Moon Pose

Ardha Chandrasana

June 21, 2016    BY Yoga International

POSE TYPE

Balance, Standing

POSE CATEGORY

Extension

Setup and Key Actions

From side angle pose with your right foot forward, bring your top (left) hand to your waist and gaze down toward your right big toe. Keep your front heel glued to the floor as you step your back foot forward halfway and walk your right fingertips six to ten inches in front of the pinky-toe side of your right foot. For extra stability, walk your fingers a few inches to the right as opposed to lining them up right under your shoulder. Shift your weight into your right foot as you float your left leg up off the floor.

There's no rush to straighten your standing leg! It's fine to keep it slightly bent while you find your balance.

Keeping your front knee bent to begin can also be useful for helping you to track and align your front knee. Ground down into the ball of your front big toe, and aim your front knee toward the pinky-toe side of your foot. Keeping that alignment, you can start to straighten your front leg, grounding down into your outer front heel as well as you do so. You can continue to return to these two points of grounding (the mound below the big toe and the outer heel) any time you need to regain a sense of balance in the pose. 

Watch that your lifted leg doesn’t swing back behind you. To find more steadiness in the pose, actually bring your lifted foot forward at first. Then, bring the foot of your lifted leg in line with (but not behind) its matching hip, and see if you find a greater sense of equanimity. 

Extend your top arm up only if your shoulders are stacked and you feel stable with your balance. Keep the back of your skull in line with the back of your pelvis, and either gaze down toward your front big toe, straight ahead, or up.

Modifications

Practice in front of a wall, or with your back foot pressing into a wall to help with balance. 

Yoga International
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