Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Half Moon

This is a hard one. I'm not gonna sugar coat it, BUUUUT it can be made easier. I'm still on my one legged balance pose kick, so bear with me.  It's also one of my most favorite poses on the planet.

Half Moon Pose
(Ardha Chandrasana)

I must be on a floating kick lately. This pose is so very much like Warrior III. In fact, a lot of sequences include directly transitioning from one into the other. It requires a lot of core strength to do both poses, but you can gradually increase your strength each time to attempt this pose, or push yourself a little bit further.

For our purposes today, we'll start in Warrior II.

So, as a refresher... your front foot is pointing straight forward, knee is tracking out over the toe, and heel is aligned with your back arch. Your back foot is flat on the floor, leg straight, foot pointed out at about a 45 degree angle, and your hips are parallel and perpendicular to the floor and walls, opening up to the side as much as possible/comfortable for you.

From WII, keeping your torso open to the side wall, lean out over your front leg and plant your hand about 6 to 12 inches in front of your foot or on a block.

This is a block...

It can be very helpful, especially for beginners, but a lot of advanced yogis still like to use them.

Back to the pose - if your using a block, put it up on any side that works for you, lift your back leg, and do your best to "float" up onto your front foot.

I am fully away of the ridiculous look on my face here.

Whether or not you're using the block, you can start with both hands on the floor/block and your hips facing downward.

Then open up your hips to the side of the room and turn your foot so that it's parallel to the floor.

When you've got your balance here, you can slowly lift your top arm up towards the sky.

Blurry arm action shot. Thanks, husband. ;)

The whole time you're here, you should be trying to do a few things:

  • Reaching your arms away from each other
  • Opening up your chest towards the side wall
  • Stacking and opening up your hips so they are not facing the floor.
  • Flexing your foot and pressing out through your heel. 
  • Keeping your standing leg straight. 
If you're comfortable here and don't have any neck issues, you can look up - like I did in my ridiculous-faced picture. Or, if you want to work on your balance, try lifting your fingers up off the floor. Test yourself at first by just trying to transfer your weight out of your hand and then as you get more comfortable, you can lift up off your hand.

One of the goals in this pose is to get your body parallel to the floor. This is harder to do with your hand on the floor - easier with a block or balancing without the hand on anything. 

What do you think? Will you try it? :)

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