Monday, May 19, 2014

Get the Most Out of Your Half Moon Pose

A challenging pose, “ardha chandrasana,” or half moon, tests balance, strength, and patience. If you are just starting to incorporate this pose into your practice, consider this advice:

Think of the process as an “unfurling.” Enter the pose by first grounding in the forward foot and gently kicking the back foot up as you lean forward. If your right foot is forward, place your right finger tips on the ground or on a block and bring your left hand to your left hip. Once you have your balance here, slowly begin the unfurling process by opening the left hip and side body to the left. If you’re still stable here, raise the left hand toward the sky, balance again, and then lift the gaze.

Be kind to yourself. Even some yogis who have been practicing half moon for years can’t tilt right into half moon with their arm raised and their eyes looking skyward. As you move through the “unfurling” process, be patient with yourself, especially if your balance is not on par with an earlier practice; instead, simply accept where you are and soak up the strengthening and clarifying benefits of this pose.

Channel your energy. No matter where you are in your half moon practice, you can appreciate the beautiful feeling of suspension that this pose provides. Visualize drawing energy up through the roots of your grounded foot and fingers. Eventually, as you’re able to lift the hand and the gaze, you can send that energy skyward, allowing your body to serve as an energy rod.