Ardha Chandrasana

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Ardha = half
Chandra = moon
Asana = pose

Step by step instructions
1. From Virabhadrasana 2, gaze downwards in front of the right foot. Bring body weight onto the right leg, left hand on hip. Right fingertips on the floor, 45° from right pinky toe.
AC1 AC2

2.Inhale, straighten right leg, lifting left leg up, left toes dorsi flexed. Ground down through the four corners of the right foot firmly. Pull the right patella up and engage the quadriceps. Open up hips, stacking one hip on top of another. Roll the top shoulder blade back, open up the chest, stack shoulders one on top of another.
AC3

3.Once balanced, raise left arm up, and gaze upwards. (If balancing is a problem, keep gazing to the floor.) Stay here for 5 breaths.
AC4

4.To come out of the pose, take a deep inhale. Exhale, bend the right leg, lower the left leg gently down into Virabhadrasana 2. Followed by a Vinyasa flow. Continue on the left side.
AC1

Muscles activated
• Standing leg: quadriceps and hip flexors contracted to maintain balance, hamstrings, gluteus maximus and gastrocnemius stretches.
• Lifted leg: The gluteus medius contracts and abducts the extended leg, lifting it. While lifted, psoas is stretched, tensor fascia lata contracts to stabilize the lifted leg.
• Upper torso: upper-side of the erector spinae, oblique abdominals, pectoralis major, serratus anterior and biceps stretched. Upper rhomboids contracted to draw the scapula inwards towards the midline of the back, opening the chest and shining the heart up.
• Lower torso: Serratus anterior contracts to draw the scapula away from the spine. The lower side infraspinatus contracted for external rotation of the arm bone (humerus), triceps contracted to straighten both arms.

Benefits
Physical:
• Strengthens and tones ankles, calves and thighs
• Stretches spinal muscles, hamstrings and hip muscles
• Improves balance and focus
• Tones abdomen for core strength
• Strengthens the neck muscles
Spiritual:
• Activates the Muladhara and Svadisthana chakra

Precaution
• If there’s neck pain, keep gazing to the floor or straight ahead.

Contraindication
• Recent hip or knee surgery

Counter pose
• Uttanasana or Tadasana

Namaste,
Cheryl Li (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)

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