September Asana: Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana

Parivrtta-Ardha-Chandrasana2

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.

Revolved Half Moon Pose—a more advanced variation of Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)—demands a lot from the hamstrings, pelvis, sacrum, and lower back. It also requires considerable core strength. The benefits, however, are well worth the effort, as Revolved Half Moon Pose helps develop physical and mental stamina, and also improves balance, stability, and coordination. In addition, rotating the torso massages and cleanses the digestive organs, aiding in the release of toxins and other waste matter. Stimulating and toning these organs also improves digestion, elimination, and metabolism.

Practice Pointers:

  • As always, build the pose from the ground up. Stabilize through your standing leg before focusing on the lifted leg and twist.
  • Spread the toes and firm the legs.
  • Maintain equal effort in both legs.
  • Lift equally through the raised leg and the shoulder of the raised arm.
  • Allow the hips to anchor of the pose—keep them even and rotate the torso, instead.
  • Keep the spine in a straight line.

Revolved Half Moon Pose can add a challenging new twist to your practice! However, it requires a balanced mix of effort and effortlessness. The late B.K.S. Iyengar perhaps came closest to verbalizing this paradox between control and abandon in his instruction: “Be cautious, be bold!” This month, enjoy all that Revolved Half Moon Pose has to teach, whether the teachable moment occurs during a brief taste of effortless balance, or during the inevitable fall to earth.

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose):

Parivrtta = Revolved

Ardha = Half

Chandra = Glittering, shining, generally translated as “moon”

Asana = Pose

Benefits (according to yogajournal.com):

  • Strengthens the ankles, thighs, buttocks, spine, and abdomen
  • Stretches the, hamstrings, shoulders, chest, and spine
  • Improves coordination and sense of balance
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • 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)
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
  • Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

The 1961 Academy Award winner for Best Original Song: “Moon River,” composed by Johnny Mercer (lyrics) and Henry Mancini (music), and sung to me by my mother, many, many years ago. Here’s Elton John’s wonderful version.

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