May Pose of the Month - Half Moon
Our Pose of the Month series is designed to encourage you to develop various elements of your yoga practice. By focusing on a single pose each month, you can develop skills that you may have been neglecting-- either knowingly or unknowingly. By taking one month to work on a pose, you are allowing your body and mind to slowly accept a new (or improved) way of moving or being.
Half Moon Pose has a number of variations to accommodate Yogis at any level of practice. We encourage you to read up on the Half Moon pose variations and choose one (or two) to work on that you feel is best for you. A pose should never be or feel forced. If you have injuries or concerns, you should consult your doctor before attempting a pose you are unsure of. Your Let It Be YOGA instructors are always available to you to help guide you through the Pose of the Month and its variations.
Half Moon Pose is a standing yoga posture that will challenge your leg muscles and your ability to balance. It strengthens the thighs, ankles, abdomen, and buttocks. It opens the chest, shoulders, and torso, while lengthening the spine. This pose also effectively stretches the groins, hamstrings, and calves. Because your heart is higher than your head in Half Moon, this pose also provides the benefits of mild inversions, including relief from stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
The Sanskrit name for this pose, "Ardha Chandrasana" (ARD-uh chan-DRAHS-uh-nuh), comes from three words:
"Ardha" — meaning "half" "Chandra" — meaning "moon" "Asana" — meaning "pose"
There are a variety of modifications available for this pose, making it a suitable balancing posture for beginning and advanced yoga students.
Do not practice Half Moon Pose if you have low blood pressure or are currently experiencing headaches, insomnia, or diarrhea. Those with neck injuries should not turn their heads to face the top hand (as in images 1 and 3 above), but should continue looking straight ahead. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
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