Improve Your Balance: Practice Yoga’s Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) at the Wall
Article At A Glance
Half Moon Pose is a challenging balance posture. Try this Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) variation at a wall and stabilize your balance while establishing harmony between your body’s upward and downward-flowing energies.
Balance postures like Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) cultivate awareness and require attentiveness. In addition, they establish a harmony between the upward and downward-flowing energies in your body. If you find it challenging to balance on one foot, try this Half Moon Pose variation and allow your wall to support you in discovering greater levels of steadiness and mastery.
As you practice, your appreciation deepens for the subtleties of attaining equilibrium in this Half Moon Pose variation.
9 Tips for Practicing Balance Poses at the Wall:
- Perform postures for at least one minute. Your friend, the wall, will aid you in holding them longer.
- Keep breathing smoothly and steadily. If your breath becomes faint or short, refocus your attention on your breath—again and again. Follow the suggestions provided for breathing in each posture.
- When you feel stable in a pose, separate yourself from the wall and practice balancing independently for part of the time.
- Practice the balance poses with your eyes open, gazing at the suggested focal point. Your visual focus dramatically affects your ability to balance. Avoid letting your eyes wander.
- Practice balance poses on an even surface at first.
- Firm the muscles around your abdomen and navel center to enhance your ability to balance.
- Notice your thoughts while performing the yoga postures. Become aware of the effect of your thoughts on your ability to balance.
- Relax in the poses. Don’t try so hard to balance and let go of internal self-pressures of perfection.
- Experiment with consciously and safely “falling out” of the pose when you feel off balance.
So, as you practice, keep these words in mind: expansion, centeredness, presence, stillness, grace, stability, focus, integration, wholeness, acceptance, patience, concentration, and attentiveness.
How to Practice This Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) Variation
If you are using yoga blocks, place them next to the wall, about one foot or more, in front of the toe tips of your front foot. Place the widest side of the block on the floor for stability.
- Stand facing away from the wall, about 4 to 7 inches from the wall, with your legs spread about one leg length apart.
- Turn your right foot forward, parallel to the wall.
- Bend the knee of the standing front leg knee and look down for now.
- Shift your weight forward, over the front leg, and place your fingertips or hand on the floor or the yoga block(s) near the wall.
- Energetically lift your left leg up in the air to a comfortable level or until it is parallel to the floor.
- Flex your elevated foot and keep the leg in the air, firm, and actively engaged.
- You can keep your left hand on your hip or extend your arm toward the ceiling.
- Experiment with straightening your standing leg and inviting your quadriceps to be strong and solid. If you experience discomfort in your knee, keep it slightly bent (especially if you have a tendency toward hyperextended knees).
- Look toward the floor until you feel balanced, and then explore, focusing your eyes on a point on the horizon in front of you. A more challenging variation is to gaze at the ceiling or the thumb of your hand above you.
- Rotate your torso open while leaning your shoulders, upper arm, and hips into the wall. Your top arm may align over your lower arm.
- Align your head, neck, and spine, and let your heart lead.
- Send the energy from your core into your limbs and radiate like a star.
- Breathe deeply and expand your chest.
- To exit the pose, bend your standing leg and lower your upper leg to the floor as you return to a standing position.
- Repeat the pose on the other side of your body.
Align Your Body with This Half Moon Pose Variation Imagery
Imagine your body is a half-moon floating in the night sky. Create a strong, long line from your elevated foot to the top of your head. Let the wall steady you as you experiment with liberating and opening your body in this. Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana) Pose Variation.
Deepen Ardha Chandrasana: “Home Play” Experiments
- Experiment with the placement of your lower hand. At first, place your fingertips on a yoga block or two for maximum lift and height. Then, progress to placing your palm flat on the block. From there, you can move the block away and repeat these steps with your hand touching the floor. If your breathing becomes restricted or you find your top shoulder curling toward the floor when you place your hand on the floor, return to putting your hand on a block or two. This Half Moon Pose variation expresses expansion, so make sure the placement of your bottom hand supports an expanded pose.
- Explore the position of your upper leg by lifting it more into the air or lowering it toward the floor. Finally, find a spot where your hips expand and your leg muscles are firming simultaneously.
Practice Half Moon Pose with Care
- Remember to keep your knee and big toe aligned to prevent knee strain.
- Slightly bend your standing leg if you tend to hyperextend your knee joints.