Revolved Half-Moon Pose: Stabilize and Expand

Sporty, young, cheerful Yogi in white sportswear practicing Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose) assisted with a wood yoga block.

Article At A Glance

If Revolved Half-Moon Pose has fallen off of your radar, this article is here to show you why it’s worth revisiting! With a bit of prep, Revolved Half-Moon Pose can be a breath of fresh air in your yoga routine. Read on to learn how.

There are poses that we practice often at home and in yoga classes. Think Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), and the Warrior poses (Virabhadrasana I and II). Then there are poses that seem to fall off the playlist, only to resurface on rare occasions. Revolved Half-Moon Pose (Parvrtta Ardha Chandrasana) is one of these.

Part of the reason that Revolved Half-Moon Pose is not so popular is that it’s complicated. It’s simultaneously a balancing pose and a twist. It requires both flexible hamstrings and thoracic spinal mobility. For most people, it requires props in order for us to be able to practice it with a sense of continuity. This can make teachers shy away from including it in a sequence. But with careful preparation, Revolved Half-Moon Pose can be an invigorating addition to any yoga practice.

Sporty beautiful young woman in white sportswear practicing Warrior II Pose or Virabhadrasana ll which is a great preparatory pose for Revolved Half Moon Pose.

Revolved Half-Moon Pose Benefits and Cautions

The pose may be challenging, but the benefits are worth the effort. Here are a few benefits:

  • Expands and stretches the chest and shoulders.
  • Mobilizes the thoracic spine.
  • Develops strength and stability.
  • Massages the digestive organs.
  • The head position increases vestibular input.

Parvrtta Ardha Chandrasana is not for everyone. If you have any of the following conditions, it would be best to skip this pose:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Injuries to the feet, ankles, knees, hips, sacroiliac (SI) joints, spine, shoulders or wrists
  • Ligament damage in any of the supporting joints, especially the ankles, knees, hips, and wrists
  • Low energy levels

How to Prepare for Revolved Half-Moon Pose

It’s important to practice a few poses that warm up your body before embarking on Revolved Half-Moon Pose. Then you can follow with a few poses that address the pose’s specific challenges, but in a less challenging format. Here are the basic skills required for practicing Parvrtta Ardha Chandrasana:

  • Balance, stability
  • Leg strength
  • Hamstrings stretch
  • Spinal twisting2 Sporty young yogi wearing white sportswear practicing yoga's Tree Pose a great pose to strengthen balance skills.

Here’s a sequence of poses I’d suggest that you practice in order to prepare your body for the pose. Feel free to warm up with a couple slow Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations) first:

oga student in white sportswear practicing Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) with a yoga wooden blockas a prepartion pose for Revolved Half Moon Pose.

  1. Tree Pose (Vrksasana) (above)
  2. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
  3. Side-Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)
  4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
  5. Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) (directly above)
  6. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
  7. Revolved Side-Angle Pose (Parvrtta Parsvakonasana)

Sporty, young yoga female student in white sportswear practicing Parivrtta Parsvakonasana assisted with a wooden yoga block.

How to Practice Revolved Half-Moon Pose

When you first begin practicing Revolved Half-Moon Pose, it can be helpful to practice near a wall. The combination of standing on one leg, flexing forward, and twisting can be disorienting. You can make the transition to Parvrtta Ardha Chandrasana either from Virabhadrasana III or from Parvrtta Parsvakonasana. I’ll describe both below.

Sporty, young, cheerful Yogi in white sportswear practicing Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose) assisted with a wood yoga block.

We often tend to jump ahead mentally to the next pose when we’re combining poses. Remember to stay mindful, inside your body, throughout all phases of this short sequence, including the transitions between poses. Maintaining concentration can help stabilize your pose.

Protect your knees. It is quite common for practitioners to hyperextend the knee of the standing leg. This puts tremendous pressure on the tendons and ligaments of your knee joint. If you tend to hyperextend, a slight bend in the knee of your standing leg can help protect your knee.

From Warrior III Poseyoga student practicing Warrior III Pose or Virabhadrasana lll Pose, a challenging balancing posture.

  1. Gather your props: a yoga mat and a yoga block. If you are tall, you might want to use a chair seat.
  2. Place a yoga block on its tallest setting on the floor a foot or so in front of you and toward the left side of your mat. You can adjust the distance and the height once you move into the pose.
  3. Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) at one end of your mat.
  4. Place your hands on your pelvic rim.
  5. Shift your weight onto your right leg.
  6. Lift your left leg up behind you, allowing your torso to tip forward until it is parallel to the floor.
  7. Place your left hand on your block, and begin rotating your torso to the right. Keep your right hand on your hip.
  8. If your torso is fully twisted to the right, you can raise your right arm up toward the ceiling. If your torso is even slightly facing the floor, keep your hand on your hip.
  9. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths in the pose.
  10. Turn your torso back to face the floor, then lift back up to Tadasana.
  11. Repeat on your other side.

From Revolved Side-Angle PoseSporty, young yoga female student in white sportswear practicing Parivrtta Parsvakonasana assisted with a wooden yoga block.

  1. Place a yoga block on its tallest setting on the floor a foot or so in front of you and toward the left side of your mat. You can adjust the distance and the height once you move into the pose.
  2. Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) at one end of your mat.
  3. Place your hands on your pelvic rim.
  4. Step your left foot back about 2 to 3 feet.
  5. Lift your left heel off the floor and bend your right knee, so that you’re in Virabhadrasana I, but with your left heel lifted.
  6. Activate both legs.
  7. Lean your torso forward slightly. Rotate your torso toward the right and place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. If you can bring your torso toward your leg and place your left elbow on the outside of your knee without losing your spinal length, you can do that. If you’re practicing this variation, place your hands in Anjali Mudra in front of your sternum.
  8. Parvrtta Parsvakonasana is a balancing pose. It’s important to keep your legs activated and ground your weight into your legs.
  9. Stay here for a few breaths.
  10. Place your right hand on your hip, and reach your left hand forward and place it on your yoga block. Then shift your torso forward, straighten your right knee, and kick your left leg back.
  11. Rotate your torso to the right. Keep your right hand on your hip.
  12. If your torso is fully twisted to the right, you can raise your right arm up toward the ceiling. If your torso is even slightly facing the floor, keep your hand on your hip.
  13. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths in the pose.
  14. Turn your torso back to face the floor, then lift back up to Tadasana.
  15. Repeat on your other side.

After Revolved Half-Moon Pose

Yoga student dressed in all white practicing Head to Knee Pose a forward bend pose also known as Janu Sirsasana.

It’s helpful to practice some symmetrical poses to unwind from Parvrtta Ardha Chandrasana. From Tadasana, after you leave the pose, you can move into Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana). Then move down to the floor and practice a few seated forward bends such as Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana), Seated Angle Pose (Upavista Konasana) and/or Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana). Be sure to end with a nice, long Relaxation Pose (Savasana) of 10 to 15 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Charlotte Bell/Hugger Mugger Yoga Products.
Charlotte Bell writer

Charlotte Bell began practicing yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. She was certified by B.K.S. Iyengar in 1989 following a trip to Pune. In 1986, she began practicing Insight Meditation with her mentors Pujari and Abhilasha Keays. Her asana classes blend mindfulness with physical movement. Charlotte writes a column for Catalyst Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. She is the author of two books: Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life, and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. She also edits Hugger Mugger Yoga Products’ blog and is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, she plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and the folk sextet Red Rock Rondo whose 2010 PBS music special won two Emmys.

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