Pose breakdown

Ardha Chandrasana - Half Moon

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GROUND & CENTRE
Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon is quite the balancing act and requires strong glutes to lift the top leg and plenty of core strength to catch your balance. The trick to finding your balance is to start with a deeply bent front knee to bring your centre of gravity down while your body works out how to accommodate this seesaw arrangement you have put it in. Once your core kick in you can start to very slowly straighten out the standing leg and reach in all directions.

THE BENEFITS OF ARDHA CHANDRASANA/MOON POSE
There is nowhere to hide with this challenging pose. It builds focus and concentration and is very grounding and centering. It strengthens the core, ankles, glutes, spine and quads; and stretches the groin, hamstrings, calves and chest. It requires a lot of balancing skills and improves coordination and balance in our everyday movement. It also eases headaches, lowers blood pressure, eases back pain, relieves indigestion, constipation and menstrual cramps, and eases anxiety. Quite the selection of benefits for this simple yet strong balancing pose!

EXPLORING THE ARDHA CHANDRASANA/MOON POSE IN YOUR PRACTICE
In your full expression of your version of the pose connect with your belly button and radiate out through the standing leg into the support of the ground; through the lift leg reaching through the heel of the flexed foot; through the bottom arm, heart centre and the finger of the extended arm; and finally through your tailbone to the tip of your crown. Think of yourself as a jellyfish reaching in all directions originating from your strong core.

ALIGNMENT CUES
This sequence deeply works the muscles of the glutes at the back of the hips to help you connect to these important muscles that will help you left the top leg in Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon.

Print out the tips below, along with the sequence, and build you best version of Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon:

  • From Utthita Trikonasana/Triangle with your right leg forward. Place your left hand on your hip and step your left foot forward a little.

  • Bend your front knee and place your right hand on a brick a foot forward to the little toe side of your right foot. Press down through the three points of your right foot and lift the inner ankle.

  • Keeping your right knee bent, Inhale, float your left leg up to hip height or slightly above, toes facing forward. When you have your balance gradually straighten your right leg.

  • Flex your left foot parallel to the ground and press out through the heel.

  • Hips and shoulders stacked, reach your left arm up high, palm facing left, gaze down or to your left fingertips.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru

Savasana - Corpse Pose

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THE POSE OF INTEGRATION
Savasana/Corpse Pose is the ultimate pose of pratikriyasana or integrating the effects of the asana. Throughout the practice we use counter poses to neutralise tension caused by the more challenging poses. Savasana/Corpse Pose is a counter pose for the complete practice. It is considered one of the hardest poses in yoga. The mind likes to stay busy and doesn’t take kindly to being asked to quieten. But without Savasana/Corpse Pose you have lost the gentle reintegration to everyday life and the ability to bring the benefits of the practice with you. It triggers the rest, digest and restore nervous system response. Savasana/Corpse Pose is the most important pose for assimilating all the work you have done on your mat.

ALIGNMENT CUES
General rule of thumb is take 10 minutes of Savasana/Corpse Pose for every hour of practice, or longer if you have the time or need extra space to reap the medicinal benefits of your practice. Consider using props if they help you release into your most comfortable Savasana/Corpse Pose. Placing a bolster under your knees will help with any hip tension and will support the lower back if you have back issues. Covering yourself with a blanket will keep you cosy and comfortable as you cool down, and tell your nervous system you are safe and secure.

Print out the tips below and use them to help you find comfort in your Savasana/Corpse Pose:

  • Lie on your back, legs stretched out, arms slightly away from your body, palms facing up.

  • Legs slightly apart and feet fall out to the side, soften your shoulder, back of the neck long.

  • Gently close your eyes, let the body become heavy and melt into the support of the ground

  • Soften the muscles across your forehead, releasing all tension, gaze inwards.

  • Let all the muscles and bones of you body release any help tension.

  • Let the thought come and go without attachment to what you should or shouldn’t be feeling in your Savasana/Corpse Pose.

  • Melt, release, soften, relax, breath.

Ruth Delahunty Yogaru