Yoga is great for our physical and mental health. There are some asanas that are simple and then there are those that need some effort. Ardha Chandrasana or the half moon pose is one of the challenging asanas. That’s because it tests your balance, as you go down with your standing leg and stabilise your arm, while lifting your raised leg and the other arm. Read on to find out the benefits of the half moon pose.
The sun is all about high octane energy and passion. Moon, on the other hand, is cooling and calming. Ardha Chandrasana as the name suggests, brings in serenity and tranquility of the moon, says global leading holistic health guru and corporate life coach Dr Mickey Mehta. The energy from moon helps to develop compassion, empathy and creativity.
On the health front, sitting for long causes tight hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus muscles. You can end up with sore hips, back and swollen legs. So, people particularly dealing with the problems of sitting too long can try the half moon pose.
Health benefits of half moon pose
Half moon pose isn’t just about getting the balance right. It has many benefits:
1. Half moon pose strengthens your legs
All of your leg muscles, especially your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings, get worked when you do this asana. So, the half moon pose helps to build leg strength. It also increases the flexibility of your legs, says Dr Mehta.
2. Half moon pose improves body balance
As we grow older, we may have balance issues and tend to fall down more often. Practicing half moon pose on both the sides can keep you well co-ordinated and balanced.
3. Half moon pose gives a good body stretch
This full-body stretch pose can relax your stiff muscles, stretch your hamstrings, hips and arms. It also opens up your chest and helps in improving your body’s mobility.
4. Half moon pose helps in cellular regeneration
The majority of our toxins are contracted in our organs, and when all strains and bends are combined, it promotes cellular regeneration. Our organs receive nutrient and oxygen-rich blood as we stretch. So, cellular regeneration and organ renewal happen, says the expert.
5. Half moon pose helps to improve concentration
Holding the half moon pose for an extended time can help to improve concentration, focus and determination.
Tips to do half moon pose
Not too many steps are involved in this standing pose, but it is a challenging one.
• Stand with your legs apart, bend in trikonasana and raise your leg up while you try to balance on one foot and one arm.
• Try holding this pose as much as you can then repeat on the other side.
You can also do the half moon pose with a block and a chair. You can use a chair to support your lifted leg. All you have to do is rest your lifted leg on the back of the chair. To make it more comfortable, you can place a blanket for cushioning. Then you can bring your bottom hand to a block, which can be kept beneath your shoulder.
Focusing your attention in the upward movement of the hand and the alignment, being perpendicular to the ground is important. Avoid locking your knees or you may lose balance and it may not help in strengthening your legs.
This yoga asana includes a lot of stretching, so wear stretchable garments to be comfortable!