Balancing poses in yoga do so much more than improve our physical balance. This practice in alignment, strength and focus helps us balance the mind and our consciousness.
Utthita Ardha Chandrasana (also known as Half Moon Pose) helps strengthen the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine; and stretches the groin, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine.
1. Come into Utthita Trikonasana on the right side.
2. Rest your left hand on your left hip. Bend your right knee and reach your right hand forward, beyond the little-toe side of the right foot at least 30 to 40 centimetres.
3. Place your right finger tips to the floor or use a block.
4. Raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you straighten your right leg.
5. Turn your torso to raise your left arm up. Beginning students should keep their head in a neutral position, looking straight ahead, or turn it to look at the floor. More experienced students can turn the head and gaze up to the top thumb.
6. Exhale, release through Utthita Trikonasana and change sides.
Contraindications and Cautions:
If you have any neck problems, don’t turn your head to look at the top arm; instead look straight ahead with the sides of the neck lengthened evenly, or look down at the floor.