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Half - Moon Pose for a Stable, Stress-Free Mind

Source: Medindia

The half-moon pose is the true translation of "Ardha Chandra Asana". When a yogi perfectly practices this posture his body resembles the half-moon in the night sky, which gives this posture its unique name. Yoga means union. It helps to align the energies of your body, mind, and soul.

In yogic literature, the nervous system is divided into the lunar half (left side) with right brain dominance and the solar half (right side) with left brain dominance.

The name of the asana itself tells us that it activates the lunar energies i.e., the right side of the brain which improves creativity, balances your emotions stability, and communication. It also calms your nervous system, helps your brain to become more stable.

How to perform the half-moon pose?

The pose is performed while standing. Stand by placing both of your feet apart, then slowly bring your right foot forward. The right foot should be in front of your left foot. The gap between two feet should at least be 4 feet long.

The next step is to slowly and steadily shift all of your body weight towards the front leg and place both of your hands forward. Raise your leg that is backward until it is parallel to the ground while stabilizing your self.

Raise the left hand up from the ground and slowly twist your torso to face the raised hand and leg. Try to maintain this posture for as much time as possible without straining or injuring yourself.
 

A bonus tip would be to trying to maintain this pose for a little while longer than you actually can. You can progressively try to increase the amount of time everyday. This helps improving your will power, focus ,and concentration.

What are the health benefits of the half-moon pose?

There are many unknown and unexplored benefits of yoga. These are the most popular and widely accepted benefits of the half moon pose can be remembered with the "six S" mnemonic.

  • Stress: It is a great pose to reduce stress and anxiety levels in your body.
  • Shape: The pose when consistently practiced will make you fit and give you a great shape.
  • Stability: This pose will bring your nervous excitement levels considerably down and will make your mind more stable. It also helps in building resilience (2).
  • Structure: It can structure your mind by helping you concentrate better . It also benefits the body by balancing and harmonizing the energies.
  • Sciatica: Sciatica is a term used to describe nerve pain in the leg that is caused by irritation and/or compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica originates in the lower back, radiates deep into the buttock, and travels down the leg. This pose can help you get rid of sciatica, shoulder pain and hip pain by stretching the appropriate muscles. It can cure you without bombarding your body with pain- killers.
  • Stretch: It stretches the muscles in the body especially muscles of the back and legs. This pose makes the muscles stronger by stretching them and relieving it from pain. It also cleanses the body at a cellular level by oxygenating the cells adequately and helps in toxin removal. It also is said to bring about flexibility and avoid falls in older individuals (1)

Along with these benefits it aids in smoother digestion, and it also helps with menstrual problems.

What are the muscles involved in the half-moon pose?

The gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings, muscles of the neck, calves, soles, ankles and triceps all are stretched when performing the half-moon pose. When stretched regularly the muscles tend to attain steadiness, better tone, and balance by strengthening your core (3).

When to avoid half-moon yoga posture?

Avoid this posture when you have injuries to your tendons, ligaments, joints, in back, legs, ribs, spine and neck. Also be careful while attempting it when you have vertigo. Pregnant women should do this asana under proper guidance and supervision of experts.

References :

  1. Yoga-based exercise improves balance and mobility in people aged 60 and over: a systematic review and meta-analysis - (https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/45/1/21/2195366)
  2. Building Resilience and Fortitude Among Victims of School Bullying: Lessons from a Customized Yoga Education Program by Older Adult Volunteers - (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40688-020-00329-2)
     
  3. Gluteal Muscle Activation During Common Yoga Poses - (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34123518/)
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