Day 18 Ardha Chandrasana
Half Moon Pose
Ardha Chandrasana (ARD-uh chan-DRAHS-uh-nuh)
is a standing yoga posture that will challenge your leg muscles and your ability to balance. It can also be a fun pose to transition into from Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)! The two poses are similar in their full-body extension; Half Moon is like a balancing variation of Triangle.
Half Moon can challenge your practice in new ways. Remember to breathe smoothly throughout the pose. As you continually draw your awareness back to your breath, you can stay calm and aware of the present moment. Don't be afraid to fall — just try the pose again. Relax your breath, focus your mind, and take it slowly. With practice and patience, you'll be balancing gracefully in space, just like the moon.
Half Moon Pose strengthens the thighs, ankles, abdomen, and buttocks. It opens the chest, shoulders, and torso, while lengthening the spine. This pose also effectively stretches the groins, hamstrings, and calves.
Because your heart is higher than your head in Half Moon, this pose also provides the benefits of mild inversions, including relief from stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Half Moon, like Extended Triangle Pose, also stimulates the organs of the torso, which can provide relief from digestive distress, such as indigestion and constipation. When practiced correctly, this pose is therapeutic for sciatica and lower back pain.
Most notably, Half Moon improves your sense of balance and full-body coordination. It helps to increase your body awareness and the sense of your body's position in space (this sense is called "proprioception"). Improving your proprioception can bring more poise to your everyday activities. It can also help you prevent the risk of injury by making you more aware of your body's position and movements.