“Through sustained focus and meditation on our patterns, habits and conditioning, we gain knowledge and understanding of our past and how we can change the patterns that aren’t serving us to live more freely and fully.”-Yoga Sutra III.18

Ardha Chandrasana gets its name from the Sanskrit words ardha meaning half, chandra meaning moon and asana meaning pose. A staple pose used in the Hatha branch of yoga, Ardha Chandrasana brings balance and awareness to the body.

The sun and moon have great symbolic significance in yoga, and Hatha yoga creates balance in the body by uniting these opposite energies. In the word Hatha, ha means sun, tha means moon and yoga refers to the joining or bringing together of these. Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Sanskrit manual of Hatha yoga, describes how this tantric practice brings about harmony between physical and mental energies.

Coming back to Ardha Chandrasana, it helps in channelling the lunar energies in our body.

Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to do Ardha Chandrasana, the benefits of Ardha Chandrasana, precautions and things to keep in mind while doing this asana and some easy modifications for Ardha Chandrasana.

  1. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) steps: correct way to do Ardha Chandrasana
  2. Benefits of Ardha Chandrasana
  3. Who should not do the Ardha Chandrasana?

Before you begin, remember that it is a good idea to practice yoga with a trained guru. This can help you in at least three ways:

  1. A trained yoga instructor can adjust your posture during the asana to ensure that you maintain the correct form throughout.
  2. A guru can advise you on whether you need to do a simpler variation of the pose or a more advanced variation, depending on your skill and comfort.
  3. An instructor can point out if your breathing and gaze during the asana can be improved to get the maximum benefit out of the pose.

That said, here's how to do the Ardha Chandrasana:

  • The perfect pose for a late evening or very early morning workout, Ardha Chandrasana should be done on an empty stomach.
  • Stand on your knees.
  • Lift your left knee and bring the foot forward.
  • With the left knee bent, place the left foot firmly on the mat.
  • Bend forward and place both your palms on the ground on either side of your left leg.
  • Now, fully extend and stretch your right leg all the way back. Your right knee and the toes of your right foot should be in touch with the ground. The pose you are in at this stage is called the Ashwa Sanchalan or equestrian pose.
  • Breathe in deeply as you take your arms up, arch your back and tilt your head back slightly. Your left knee should be slightly beyond the toes now and your hands should be bent back at the wrist so that your palms face the ceiling.
  • Hold the breath as you stay in this position for 30 seconds.
  • Breathe out as you lower the arms and return to the initial position.
  • Repeat the same with the right leg forward.
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A great yoga for legs pose, the Ardha Chandrasana strengthens the ankles, knees and legs. The other benefits of this asana include:

  • It strengthens the abdomen and spine and tones the core muscles.
  • It is said to improve digestion.
  • Regular practice of Ardha Chandrasana opens up the chest and shoulders. 
  • Like every balancing pose, Ardha Chandrsana also increases our focus.
  • It is said to cure some problems related to the uterus and urethra (urine-tube) in females.
  • Ardha Chandrasana increases body flexibility.
  • It is said to give relief in tonsillitis, cough and other throat-related problems.

There are some health conditions in which you should not practice this pose:

If you don't have any of these health conditions, you can do this asana late in the evening or very early in the morning when the moon is still in the sky. You should, however, stop immediately if you experience dizziness or a headache while practising this pose.

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