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FITNESS Yoga pose of the week: half moon

Nurturing
Reach for the moon


Yoga
Lee Kennedy


This week we’ll look at another balancing pose – the ‘half moon pose’. Practicing this pose regularly can bring great strength to the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs and ankles. It can also help improve balance and coordination, and is thought to be good for your digestive system. If you suffer from low blood pressure, however, ask your yoga teacher whether you should practice this pose.
Unlike last week’s pose (the ‘tree pose’, see www.mayonews.ie) this one is horizontal. In order to prepare the body and mind for the half moon pose, practice the tree pose, which is vertical, first.

Ardha Chandrasana, half moon pose

Stand on your yoga mat with your feet about four foot apart. This pose can be done in the centre of the mat or, if you need help with balance, with your back slightly leaning into a wall.

Stage 1
  • Turn the right leg, thigh and foot about 90 degrees to the right.
  • Turn the left foot slightly in.

Stage 2
  • Now begin to bend the right knee, placing the right hand on the floor about a foot in front of the right leg. If you have difficulty touching the floor here use a yoga block.
  • Bring the weight of the body forward, over the right foot and hand.
  • Exhale, place the left hand on the waist, elbow bent, extend the trunk further towards the head.
  • Take the left foot slightly in towards the right leg.
  • Raise the left leg up straight, so the leg is parallel to the floor and the right leg is perpendicular to the floor.

Stage 3
  • Extend the left arm straight up, in line with the shoulders, the fingers pointing towards the ceiling.
  • Slowly begin to turn the head to look up at the hand. (If you have any neck issues, don’t turn do this part).
  • Exhale, bend the right leg and lower the left foot to the ground
Rest before you repeat on the left side.

*Only progress to this stage when you have mastered the first two above.

Lee Kennedy qualified with The BKS Iyengar Yoga Association UK, the YTTC and Ana Forrest of Forrest Yoga. She specialises in pregnancy-related yoga and also studied with Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth Foundation, UK. Visit Yogadara.com or call 0863906343 for more information.