Yoga Pose of the Month: Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon Pose
Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon Pose
What is one of the most common Spring sports injury? The ANKLE joint. Now that the sun is beginning to peak it’s head out more often, it’s time to amp up your Spring training and use yoga balance poses to strengthen ankles, calves, inner thighs and core. Spring sports like Soccer and hiking depend on the quick response, strength and flexibility of your ankle joint.
Half Moon pose is an important pose in the yoga sequence, because it teaches both the front/back (anterior/posterior) of the body to stabilize and balance, by in large because the core has to fire both front and back. This pose also requires mind, breath, body coordination and stretching of the side waist and chest.
Break it Down
Do at least 10 minutes of warm up before starting standing balance poses like Half Moon. Set a block down by the front of your mat to use as an extension of your hand if it doesn’t easily touch the floor.
Starting in Warrior II (Virahbdrasana II) with your right foot forward, and your knee bent in a direct line over your foot. Ease your right hand down to the block as help to propel you forward, so you can lift your left leg off the floor with the front body open. The point is to pretend there is an imaginary wall on either side of you, front and back, so move slowly enough you stay open like a star shape and feel your core and inner thighs engage. Try not to fling your body parts into an awkward shape, move slow, with your breath, and “feel” your way into the pose.
Start by holding the pose for 5 breaths and then come down slowly back into Warrior II. Over time, you won’t need the block, and you’ll develop the strength and finesse to lightly touch the floor with your balance hand.
The focus should be keeping your front and back body open, strengthening the standing leg and ankle and stretching the side waist and chest.