In Sanskrit “Ardha” means “Half”, “Chandra” means “Moon” and “Asana” means “Pose”. In English this pose is known as “Crescent Moon Pose”.
Position : Sitting
Type : Hip opening
Spiritual Awareness : Swadisthan, Vishuddhi and Ajna chakras
Physical Awareness : Arched back; on the stretch in the pelvic region, chest and throat
Dosha Suitability : Best advisable for vata
Introducery Asanas : Forward bending postures
- Start on the knees with the arms at the sides.
- Take one step forward with the left leg.
- Exhale, bend forward and place the palms of the hands flat on the floor on both sides of the left foot. Stretch the right leg back fully. The right knee and the top of the right foot or the toes should rest on the floor. Inhale.
- Arch the back and bend the head backwards.
- In the final position, the elbows should be straight with only the fingertips touching the floor.
- Return to the starting position by bringing the left leg back beside the right and stand up on the knees.
- Repeat the position on the other side.
Variation : In the final position raise the arms over the head. Keep the elbows straight. Stretch the head and upper trunk back as far as possible.
Followup Asanas: Sequence of Chandra namaskar and backward bending asanas.
Spotlight effects: Back, pelvis, chest and throat.
- This pose limbers and strengthens the entire skeletal structure.
- It gives a good stretch to the chest and neck.
- Stimulates and tones the abdominal muscles.
- Strengthens the muscles of the thighs and legs and induces balance in the nervous system.
- Tones the kidney and liver.
- Increases will power, courage, and determination.
- It is especially beneficial for female disorders related to the ovaries, uterus and urinary tract.
- Relieves respiratory ailments, as well as sore throat, tonsils, cough and cold.
Precautions and Contraindications:
- Knee injury : Avoid or take extra caution with front knee alignment – the front knee should be directly above the ankle and the shin is perpendicular to the ; if necessary practice the gentle variation with the back knee resting on the floor.
- Neck problems : Look down at the floor instead of straight ahead.
- Late pregnancy :Place both the hands on inside of front foot, and only straighten the back leg if it feels appropriate.