Health, Pose, Yoga

Do These 6 Yoga Poses to Prepare Your Body for the Elusive Half Moon Pose (Photo Tutorial)

One of the many strong, beautiful postures of an intermediate yoga practice is Half Moon Pose, or Ardha Chandrasana in Sanskrit.

A balancing act and strengthening combo, Half Moon Pose is a powerful peak pose for classes and can make you feel like queen of the divine feminine energy over which the moon rules.

This pose is also effective for alleviating anxiety, backaches, osteoporosis, sciatica, fatigue, constipation, gastritis, indigestion, and menstrual pain.

Half Moon Pose is a power pose. You can’t help but feel grounded, strong, and beautiful while holding this posture.

Need to harness your divine feminine energy to rock Ardha Chandrasana? Practice these 10 Yoga Poses to Awaken Your Inner Goddess and Harness Your Feminine Energy

Practice These 6 Yoga Poses to Help You Prepare for Half Moon Pose:

With these six poses, you will warm up your muscles and prepare the techniques necessary to execute your most balanced expression of Ardha Chandrasana.

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Balance starts from within. Prepare for balancing postures with a comfortable cross-legged seated position that gives you an opportunity to connect with your breath, feel the status of your physical and emotional bodies, and cultivate compassion and patience with yourself.


Let’s try it:

  • Find a comfortable cross-legged seat on your mat (option to sit on a bolster or block)
  • Root down through your sit bones and simultaneously extend up through the crown of your head
  • Roll your shoulders away from your ears
  • Focus on breathing air in through your nose and into your belly, and then out again through your nose
  • Continue for five to 10 breaths



2. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

All plank poses build core strength which is absolutely necessary for balancing and active extension throughout the body. Side Plank builds strength in the side body to keep a strong trunk even when holding it on its side.


Let’s try it:

  • From Downward Facing Dog, lead with your shoulders and roll forward to Plank
  • Splay your fingers wide to help distribute your weight
  • Root down through your right hand
  • Roll toward the right side, and open your heart and front body toward the left
  • Actively push the floor away with your right hand and feel yourself being pulled up toward the ceiling with your left hand
  • Lift your hips away from the floor and tighten your belly, using your breath to reinforce your core
  • Activate and engage your legs and kick energy out through your heels
  • Stay here for three to five breaths

Looking for similar strength-building poses? Do These 10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen and Tone Your Core + Upper Body

3. Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)

This pose helps strengthen your balance and works your standing leg. It’s also a brilliant hamstring and hip opener which will prep you for opening into the final pose.


Let’s try it:

  • From standing, root down into your right leg and draw your left knee toward your chest
  • Engage your core, lift up through your right leg, and out of your right hip
  • Roll your shoulders away from your ears and stand tall
  • Reach with your left hand to find a yogi-toe-lock on your left big toe
  • Take a big inhale to grow tall and, on your exhale, begin to straighten your left leg forward
  • From here, open your left leg out to the left side of your mat
  • Keep your core strong and kick out through the heel of your left foot
  • Stay here in your deepest expression for three to five breaths

4. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

This is a posture that will help you feel long, strong, and grounded. Strengthening the core, opening the hamstrings and hips, and drawing open the heart space with full extension of the spine, Extended Triangle Pose is definitely a whole-body opening posture.


Let’s try it:

  • From Warrior II on the right side, inhale and straighten your right leg
  • Exhale and reach forward with your right fingertips, allowing your upper body to slide forward as if sliding between two panes of glass
  • Tilt your hips so you can bring your torso parallel to the mat
  • Once you have reached as far as you can, with as much length as you can, rotate your arms so that your chest opens toward the left side
  • Your right hand can rest on your shin, a block, or the mat inside or outside of your right foot
  • Actively reach your left hand toward the sky
  • Breathe here for three to five breaths, imagining your heart spiraling toward the ceiling

5. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Here is another pose that finds extension throughout the body. This hip opener will help you develop even more space in your legs, arms, and side body, not to mention some serious strength in your quadriceps.


Let’s try it:

  • From Warrior II on the right side, take a big inhale
  • Exhale and bring your right forearm to your right thigh
  • Reach your left arm up and overhead and activate your fingers
  • Notice the strong, straight line of your body from your left toes to your left fingertips
  • Spiral your torso and reach your heart space toward the ceiling
  • For a challenge, tighten up your belly and bring both arms into the air above your head as if you were holding a big beach ball
  • Stay here for three to five breaths

6. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III is all straight lines and active muscles. It’s easy to feel this pose build strength and balance throughout your body. For a challenge, try to find peace in the pose. Keep your breath steady and your mind focused.


Let’s try it:

  • From standing, root down with your right leg
  • Extend your arms overhead and activate all your muscles from feet to fingertips – so much so, that you can begin to feel your left foot become a little weightless
  • Find a drishti: a non-moving point where you can focus to help you keep your balance
  • Inhale and then, on your exhale, hinge from your hips to draw your body parallel to the floor
  • Flex through your left foot and point your toes toward the mat
  • Reach forward with your fingers and kick through your left heel
  • Engage your core for steadiness and activate your right thigh
  • Stay here for three to five breaths



You’re ready! Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

With the length, strength, core balance, and standing leg steadiness fully prepped from the six previous postures, your body is now ready for Ardha Chandrasana.


Let’s try it:

  • From Warrior II on the right side, shift your gaze to a foot or so ahead of your right toes
  • Find the peace you discovered in Easy Pose
  • Begin to move your weight into your right foot
  • Reach your right hand to where your gaze is – about a foot in front of your right toes and a little to the right of them (option to use a block under your hand)
  • As your right hand grounds, hover your left foot off the floor
  • Like in Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose, activate your back leg and kick through the heel of your left foot
  • Like in Extended Triangle Pose, keep your body parallel to the floor as if between two panes of glass
  • Just like in Extended Side Angle Pose, feel the full length of your body extending open with both of your arms reaching in opposite directions and both of your legs long and active
  • Find the same core connection as in Side Plank – create a sturdy and long torso
  • Bring awareness to your standing leg and engage your right thigh like in Warrior III
  • Breathe easily but actively
  • Create space in your body and hold here for three to five breaths


Rock Your Half Moon Pose!

Remember: as with many poses, Ardha Chandrasana looks different on every body. Embrace how Half Moon Pose looks in your body.

Your practice is always changing, growing, and evolving with you. Some days your practice looks like something out of #yogaeverydamnday on Instagram, while other days your practice can look like a seated meditation.

The most amazing aspect of your yoga practice is how unique it is to you and how it always supports you in all stages of your life and your very being.

So, roll out your mat and get going. Ardha Chandrasana is waiting for you!

The post Do These 6 Yoga Poses to Prepare Your Body for the Elusive Half Moon Pose (Photo Tutorial) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

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