Half Moon Pose - Ardha Chandrasana
This pose is one of my favourites! This photo isn't the best but I thought I'd include it...
A standing, balancing pose, Half Moon strengthens the abdomen, ankles and thighs, improves balance, stretches the groin muscles, hamstrings and calves, can even improve digestion and best of all to me: can be done anywhere. I often practice this pose in my kitchen, holding onto the counter and easing my body into it.
Yoga Jounal writes about this pose:
<<The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, "ha" and "tha", which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively.>>
There are a few different ways of entering this pose and we all have our favourite. If I am teaching a vinyasa or flow type class I usually cue it after a pose such as Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II or Extended Side Angle Pose - Utthita Parsvakonasana. However you can enter this pose from Tadasana - Mountain Pose if you like and I often cue it this way in a gentle or beginner's class or if we have been doing a lot of vinyasas.
Enjoy this pose and reap the benefits!