Half Moon makes a constant appearance in my classes or personal practice, so when I add this revolved variation to my sequence it’s usually to spice things up, if I’m in a particularly adventurous mood, or if I want a pose I know will give me a total body workout.This pose increases your mental focus and stamina. It’s easy to fall out and even easier not to try again and just wait until the teacher moves on to the next pose. Remember if you fall out, turn the corners of your mouth up and give it another shot!
Check out the below breakdown and add it to your personal practice, or request it in a class to reap the benefits.
Revolved Half Moon Pose has so many awesome benefits. The twisting motion in your torso massages the internal organs and detoxifies the body — stimulating digestion and your metabolism. Gotta love that!
It really challenges your balance and mental focus. It strengthens the whole body — from the ankles, up the calves and quads, the glutes, abs, lower back muscles and arms. It simultaneously stretches the side body, hamstrings, calves, groin and spine.
On a deeper level, it reduces anxiety, stress, and sluggishness thanks to how it elevates your heart above your head.
Step by Step
- Begin in traditional Half Moon, or Ardha Chandrasana, balancing on your right leg with your left leg extended behind you and your right arm extended to the Earth in front of your right foot.
- From here, look down and focus on one spot. Begin to square your hips (rather than keeping them stacked) while you reach down to the Earth with your left fingertips.
- Take your right hand to your right hip.
- Extend from your tailbone through your crown of head, creating a flat back and long line of energy.
- Pull your bellybutton in towards your spine and up towards your ribs for stability.
- Begin to twist your torso (not your hips) to the right to stack your right shoulder on top of your left. If you can access this, begin to reach your right hand towards the sky and if available gaze towards that hand.
Tips, Tricks, and Restrictions
- Like most closed twists, refrain from practicing this while pregnant — stick with the original as it will challenge you enough with your new center of gravity.
- Don’t revolve your Half Moon if you’ve had a recent spine or neck injury.
- It can also make you feel faint if you have low blood pressure, so move slowly and modify appropriately with a block or two so your head is not below your heart.
- When you’re setting the foundation for the pose, flex your back toes (on the extended foot) towards your knee, so they’ll be pointing directly towards the Earth.
- Try not to hyperextend your standing leg — it’s really easy to do, so if your body does that have a microbend in the knee.
- Sometimes, the final gaze toward the sky creates a bit too much tension in the neck. If that’s the case, simply look down at your front foot.
- Since it is not only a strengthening pose, but a balancing one as well, find one point to focus your gaze on to minimize the wobbles.
- The twist is in the torso, not the hips, so try to keep them even. Often we have a tendency to drop the hip of the extended leg in this revolved variation, so picture you’re balancing a fish bowl on your sacrum and adjust accordingly.
- Warm up with a few Sun Salutations and standing poses like Warrior II, Warrior III, Extended Side Angle, Triangle, Revolved Triangle and Half Moon before working into this challenging pose.
- You can follow this pose up with square hip standing poses like Warrior I, Crescent Lunge, Revolved Crescent Lunge or Standing Splits.
My most important tip is to have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s a tough pose so may take a bit of practice, but with a smile and an open heart, you’ll be revolving your Half Moon in no time.