Supportive Yoga Pose of the Month: March 2014

Hi everyone!  I hope you enjoyed the inaugural Supportive Yoga Pose of the Month in February!  Last month we did vasistasana and this month, drumroll please, the pose of the month is…Ardha Chandrasana! (Half moon pose)

Ardha Chandrasana

When asked what my favorite yoga pose is, this is the one I always come back to!  I love doing it supported on days I don’t feel well – I learned in my prenatal teacher training that this pose can relieve nausea if done against the wall – how cool is that?  And I’ve definitely found that I feel better if I practice the pose against the wall if I have a tummy ache or other ailments.  Working the pose against the wall also allows you to really open the chest because you aren’t worrying about balancing.  You can also play with the arm variations here for the same reason!

Look Ma, no hands!

Wheeeeee!  I’m flying (ignore my hyper-extended knee again – I need new pictures of this pose and someone to shout, “watch that knee, Carlin” at me!)

Another great way to practice ardha chandrasana is to place your back foot (the foot that is up) on the wall.  It’s more active than the fully supported version in the photos above, but placing the foot on the wall helps students find the proper alignment and develop strength in the standing leg.

And finally, you can, of course, practice the pose away from the wall.  On the best of days, this pose makes me feel powerful and rooted, while providing an amazing full body stretch.  Like most balancing poses, this one works best if you are relaxed and not stressing out too much about staying upright.  Practicing ardha chandrasana is a great way to cultivate calm in situations where forces might be interested in knocking you down (hopefully not literally, but you never know!)

Once you’ve got a rock solid unsupported ardha chandrasana, you can play with more “advanced” variations including bringing your hands into prayer palms like in the photo above or adding in a leg variation such as ardha chandra chapasana (sugar cane pose) where you reach for your top foot in what looks like a topsy turvy half dhanurasana (bow) or natarajasana (dancers pose).  I find it’s actually a little easier to come into ardha chandra capasana from natarajasana as opposed to trying to grab your foot while in ardha chandrasana but you’ll have to play around on your own and see what you prefer!

I hope you will give this amazing pose a try and play along with me on social media!  Take a photo of yourself in any variation of this pose and remember to include #supportiveyoga!

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