Alignment Tips: Half Moon

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Say hello to ankle, leg, and core strength as you build stability, focus, and balance in Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon pose. Named after the moon, Ardha Chandrasana invites you to tap into both the calm energy of the moon and the fiery force of the sun. In Half Moon pose, you will discover how the synergy of two opposing energies can cultivate a power that is greater than its separate parts.

What are the benefits of Half Moon?

The physical benefits of Half Moon, like strength, stability, and coordination can seem somewhat obvious; however, the emotional benefits can be just as powerful. Off the mat, Half Moon pose can help relieve stress and reduce tension while simultaneously improving focus, concentration, and memory. 

The full attention required for Half Moon pose will yield physical benefits including the following:

  • Strengthen ankles, knees, and legs
  • Root thigh bones to help alleviate back pain
  • Strengthen abdomen, glutes, and spine
  • Open chest and shoulders

In addition, challenging balance poses like Half Moon show us that the journey is more important than the destination. Practicing these postures, we cultivate the awareness and acceptance to be present in the moment without attachment or expectations for a specific outcome. Through this process, you may also

  • Improve digestion
  • Reduce anxiety & depression
  • Improve balance & coordination
  • Relieve stress

How to hold Half Moon

A great way to get into Half Moon pose is to enter from Triangle pose. 

  1. Begin in Triangle Pose with the right leg forward. Bend your right knee softly and bring your left hand to your left hip.
  2. Bring your right hand to the floor, or a block, in front of your right foot. Your hand should be under your shoulder when you are in the full pose.
  3. Begin to straighten your right leg while simultaneously lifting your left foot off the floor. Keep your left leg as straight as possible. 
  4. Open your hips, stacking your left hip point on top of your right hip point. 
  5. Bring your left leg straight and parallel to the floor. Flex your left toes toward your nose.
  6. When you feel balanced on the right leg, reach the left arm up toward the ceiling, opening the chest and making a straight line with the right and left arms perpendicular to the floor.
  7. If it’s comfortable for your neck, turn your head so that your gaze is lifted toward your left fingertips.
  8. Balance here for 3-5 breaths before releasing the left leg to the floor and repeating the pose on the other side.

Want more alignment tips with demonstrations on how it’s done? Grab our Yoga Alignment course for just $10 and learn about 19 of the most commonly seen poses and how you can adjust your alignment in them.