Finding Joy in Movement

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana/ Revolved Half Moon

A balancing pose with an added twist, revolved half moon strengthens the legs, core, and lower back, while lengthening the hamstrings, outer hips, and pelvis. Make sure you are warmed up for this pose, as it can be quite demanding. Use props as needed.

We will begin by finding Virabhadrasana 3 with the right leg lifted. Bring the right hand to the floor or to a block and bring the left hand to the sacrum. Ground the standing foot, pressing evenly into the big toe mound, heel, inner, and outer edges. Hug the femur (thigh bone) with the thigh muscles so that the knee cap is drawn up toward the hips. Keep the hips level so that the left toes point straight down to the floor and make sure both legs are straight. If this is not possible, bring more height underneath the right hand.

From here, lengthen your spine, reaching the crown of the head forward and keeping the front of the chest open. Keep the shoulder blades comfortably drawn away from the ears. Don’t feel like you need to do more than this. This can be plenty of work right here, lengthening the spine and extending through the legs. To come into the full pose, begin to open the torso to the left. Try and keep the pelvis stable here so that the twist happens in the upper body around the axis of the spine. We are looking to keep the hips not only level, but square to the front of the mat. If you find that either leg bends or that you lose straightness of the spine, you have gone too far. If this means you only twist two degrees, then only twist two degrees.

Eventually, if it is available, reach the left hand up to the ceiling and gaze up toward the left palm. If gazing up to the left palm strains the neck, simply gaze out to the side. Stay here and breath for at least 30 seconds (more if possible) using the breath to find openness and lightness in the torso, then step back for a few breaths in downward dog or child’s pose before switching sides, holding for the same amount of time.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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