Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon)
This asana can be performed as follows;
- Stand in Tadasana or the Mountain pose.
- Place your feet three to 3.5 feet apart. Turn your right foot out to a 90 degrees angle and left foot in to 45 degrees. The right heel must be in line with left instep.
- Breathe in raise the arms out to the shoulder level, palms facing the floor. Bring the right hand down towards the right foot. Relax the left arm and hand along left side; and the body facing forwards.
- Bend right knee and place the right fingertips on the floor ahead of the right foot. The body faces forwards and the face is looking straight ahead.
- Breathe in raising your left leg straight up to the horizontal in line with the hip; toes and the knees face forwards. Push the left heel away from the body, stretch the left leg.
- Simultaneously straighten the right leg.
- Breathe out straighten right arm. The right hand does not bear the weight it just simply supports to maintain the balance.
- Raise the left arm straight up vertically; push the fingertips up towards the ceiling, palms facing forwards.
- Bring the right side of the body forwards roll the left side of the body back and up towards the ceiling. Feel the front of the body open and expanded.
- Hold this posture for a while and breathe normally.
- Bend the right knee, stretching the left leg back put the sole of the left leg back put the sole of the foot on the floor. Straighten both the legs. Breathe in raise the body to the vertical level with the arms outstretched at the level of the shoulders.
- Breathe out relax your arms down by the sides, with the feet facing forwards.
- Repeat this posture on the other side too.
Benefits of performing this asana are:
- Encourages the mobility in the hips.
- Opens up and expands up the chest.
- Increases blood circulation in the lower half of the body.
- Stretches out the spinal column.
- Reduces down the excessive fat around the waist and hips.
Precautionary measures that must be taken while performing this asana are:
- Should not be practiced if you are suffering from arthritic hip.
- If you feel unsteady in this posture you must practice it with your back against the wall.