Day 2-Posture 2 – Half Moon Pose with Hands to Feet Pose

Half Moon Pose is Ardha Chandrasana in Sanskrit. Finding a tutorial for this pose proved difficult. There exists a variation.
Step 1 ~ Stand in tadasana facing the front wall. Raise your arms above your head in prayer. Now stretch your fingertips and point them towards the back right corner of the room.  You will resemble a half Moon.Do not bend your arms or legs while you are doing this.
Remember to keep your arms pressed against your ears. Your arms shouldn’t collapse into your right side. You should be reaching up then back towards the wall. You should almost feel like you are holding avery large balloon in place between your arms and hip.
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Step 2 ~ Come back to center and perform the same pose only now to the left back corner of the room. Finally return back to center.
Step 3 ~ Push your stomach, hips and thighs forward to balance you as you
prepare to slowly reach backwards with your arms in prayer. If you are not comfortable doing this, rather use your arms to support your back. Come slowly back to center.

Hands to Feet Pose
Relax back into tadasana.  Bend forward gently and reach your hands back so that they cup your heals. Bend your knees as much as you need to in order to cup your heels. Your forearms should ideally rest against the back of your calves. But this will come in time.
While keeping your knees locked try to straighten your legs while pulling on your heels. Lift your hips upwards as you do this. Then relax and come back to center by putting your hands into prayer in front of you with arms straight and coming up slowly. This will allow you to keep your back straight and prevent injuries.

In class we do a slight variation on this variation too. We first perform Pada Hastasana from the front. This pose I love. It feels so good  on my shoulders. I perform daily – whenever the mood takes me.
Here is a video that I suspect will help more than any long winded explanation. It is however very advanced. The back bends should definitely not be attempted without support from your hands the first time you try this.

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