Bull and Bow

Half Moon Pose

Step by step guide to doing the hot yoga pose half moon also known as ardha chandrasana from the bikram yoga series of postures

Tips for Half Moon Pose 

Ardha Chandrasana

half moon pose from the bikram hot yoga series

This posture is a part of the warm up and you are going to use lateral flexion or sideways flexing of your spine to create a half moon shape down either side of your body. Like all of the Bikram Hot yoga postures, form is more important than depth. You might not be able to bend all the way over yet (or ever) but that isn't the objective. You want your whole body stay aligned breathing calmly in and out through your nose. A slender, slight crescent moon is always better than a slumped, misaligned deep half moon.  

Alignment of hips and upper body.

alignment is key in hot yoga postures

"Hips forward" tempts some of us to push all of our hips (the ones we tend to put our hands on when we get cross) forward toward the mirror. Instead, try squeezing your glutes, your backside, really tightly together - clench them! Lengthen your tailbone to keep your pelvis straight and pull your low abdominals, your core, in tightly. "Upper body back" isn't a cue to lean right back, instead lift your chest up and pull your shoulder blades together to lengthen your spine and grow even taller. Aim for a neutral long spine. 
How to do the alignment of half moon pose ardha chandrasana  in the bikram yoga postures from a side view.
"Sliding down between two panes of glass".

Think about your hands and feet.

squeeze palms together in half moon posekeep feet aligned throughout half moon pose

Think body weight on the heels and keep your palms squeezed together. "Feet together toes and heels touching" doesn't work for everyones anatomy. You might need to consider a small gap between your heels depending on your body. Read my blog post on bunions to get a greater understanding of the way your feet can impact your form. 

It's not a race.

racing car

Move slowly into the posture, don't slam down into it. Setting up and moving into the posture is as important as the final expression of the posture. At home stand against a wall and set up the posture, now move slowly without letting your body lose contact with the wall. Hard isn't it! That is exactly what you are aiming for in class. Lastly, don't exhaust yourself in half moon pose. There are another twenty five postures to go and while you want to put in effort you don't want to be unable to keep going for the rest of the class.

How The Archer can help your Half Moon pose.

the archer can help half moon posture through alignment and foot placement

As you stand on the centre circle align your feet. The centre line is a guide for the direction you want your spine to move in with the lateral or sideways flexion. Imagine your spine flexing aligned with it, visualise your hips staying level and your shoulders also staying level with that line. Your palms as they squeeze together are stretching on that same axis. You can buy your very own Archer yoga towel by clicking here
Bikram Yoga student correctly aligning in half moon pose ardha chandrasana using the archer hot yoga towel, the best towel for hot yoga or bikram yoga

Free ebook 'Your Alignment in Hot Yoga'

cobra pose bhujangasana from the bikram yoga postures

Want to know more about all of the Bikram Yoga postures with some nifty hints and tips to improve your practice? Get your free copy of our ebook 'Your Alignment in Hot Yoga' today.