October Asana of the Month: Ardha Chandrasana

asana-Oct13 SQ half moon

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in every class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. – Asana Girl (a.k.a. Danielle Polen)

Last month, we focused on Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose). This month we’ll be exploring Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)—a pose in which we work to cultivate balance and inner awareness. Triangle Pose is traditionally both the entrance and the exit to Ardha Chandrasana and, indeed, Half Moon Pose is a little bit like a balancing version of Triangle Pose.

According to BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga, Ardha Chandrasana tones the lower region of the spine and the nerves connected with the leg muscles and it strengthens the knees. Along with other standing poses, it can also serve to improve digestion.

Ardha Chandrasana(Half Moon Pose):

Ardha = Half
Candra or Chandra = Glittering, shining, generally translated as “moon”
Asana = Pose

Benefits (according to yogajournal.com):

  • Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine
  • Stretches the groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and spine
  • Improves coordination and sense of balance
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves digestion

Cautions/Contraindications:

  • headache or migraine
  • low blood pressure

** If neck vulnerability is present, don’t turn the head to look up. Instead, keep looking straight ahead and keep both sides of the neck even.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side-Angle Pose)
  • Utthita Parsvottanasana (Extended Intense Side Stretch Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” favorite “Moon River,” as covered, live and solo, by Elton John.

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