Half Moon pose, or Ardha Chandrasana in Sanskrit, helps to stretch, strengthen and balance your body. Also, the squeezing action on your sides helps with digestion. This pose takes balance, and you can begin by holding onto a wall or sturdy chair if you need to, and then work your way to the floor if and when you are ready.
Half Moon Pose
Begin in Mountain Pose and then move your feet about three feet apart from each other with your toes facing forward. Begin on the right side by turning your right foot 90 degrees to the right and your left foot about 45 degrees to the right. Put the bulk of your weight on your right leg.
Then, bend your right leg at the knee and bend your torso down to the right at the hip. You are bringing the right hand down to the floor in front of your right toes. Bring your palm down flat onto the floor if you can.
As you are going down, keep the left leg straight as you bring it up so it is in line with your spine. At the same time, straighten your right leg. Use your right leg and right arm to hold yourself.
During the pose, keep your breathing normal because the side bend constrains deep breathing. Hold the pose for 10 seconds at first, and work up to longer. Slowly come back up to Mountain Pose and then switch sides.
Improves flexibility in the spine, legs, hips, groin, shoulders and chest
Eases back pain and sciatica
Improves balance and is beneficial for osteoporosis
Strengthens and firms the abdominal area
Improves the nervous system and eases stress
Helps with digestion and elimination