3 Ways to Do Half Moon Pose You’ve Probably Never Tried

April 19, 2023 0 Comments

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Crescent Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) is defined by universality. This is a standing position, stretching the hips, opening the chest and lengthening the body. This is a yoga pose that affects almost every aspect of your body and not only strengthens, but also improves balance and proprioception.

And the same universality not always about how we move into a pose. In most yoga classes, we get the half-moon pose from Warrior 2 or Triangle. This is it. These transitions are familiar, reliable and safe. But there are more unique ways to do Crescent Pose that reflect its adaptability and challenge your body and your brain in a different way than usual.

The following transitions are designed to give you a little play on your mat. Like anything else, the more you practice them, the easier they become.

3 Ways to Do Half Moon Pose (You’ve Probably Never Seen Before)

1. A winding fold

Why not walk into Half Moon from the front of the mat? This option makes it easier to keep your balance because your center of gravity starts—and stays—lower than usual.

Here’s how to do it: Begin in standing forward bend (uttanasana). Place your right hand on the floor or on a block under your forehead. Bend your right knee and lift your left arm toward the ceiling, bringing your chest toward the left long side of the mat. Bend your left elbow and wrap it around your back, touching your right thigh, thigh or knee if possible. Shift your weight to your right arm and leg. Slowly raise your left leg behind, pushing through the heel, and open the body to the left. Straighten your standing leg and try to fold your shoulders. Keep your left hand behind your back or reach for the ceiling. For more difficulty, lift your right fingertips off the block or mat and, if you can keep your balance, reach toward the front of the room.

2. Seated figure 4

This transition into the half-moon pose is my favorite because it takes us from a sitting position to a standing position, which is quite rare in yoga practices. This requires some flexibility and hip strength to pull off, so teachers, keep your students in mind when deciding whether or not to follow.

Here’s how to do it: Sit in a seat with your feet on the floor in front of you and your knees bent. Place your left ankle on your right knee in a figure 4 shape with your hands on the mat behind you. Keeping the left leg bent, begin to swing the leg from side to side, bringing the foot closer to the floor on the right. Next, place your left foot on the floor with your toes pointing toward the front of the mat. Your left thigh will lift off the mat. Bend your chest forward and extend your left arm to the front of the mat, pushing off behind with your right arm. Press your left hand into the mat, shifting all your weight to your left foot and right shin. Place your right hand on your right thigh, lean forward and begin to stand on your left leg, reaching your right leg toward the wall behind you. Straighten your left leg and reach for the ceiling with your right hand.

3. Side bar

This transition can be performed from any version of side plank (vasisthasana). Watch the video above for a bonus fourth variation, starting with your bottom knee resting on the mat for support.

Here’s how to do it: Begin in a side plank, placing your right hand and the outer edge of your right foot on the mat. Make sure the right shoulder is above the wrist for maximum stability. Lift your left leg slightly above your right ankle or the mat. Bend the left knee and pull it to the chest. Look down at your right hand and begin to rotate your chest toward the mat as you come to the fingertips of your right hand and step your left foot to the front of the mat. The exact placement of your foot and distance from the front of the mat is irrelevant. Press hard on all corners of the left foot. Shift your weight to your left leg and press your left hand to the mat in front of you. Turn your entire body to the right long side of the mat, bring your right hand to your right thigh and lift your right leg. Push through the raised heel and reach your right hand toward the ceiling to find yourself in a Half Moon!

RELATED: 5 Ways to Create a Warrior 2 Pose Sequence (You’ve Probably Never Seen Before)

About our contributor

Sarah White is a continuing education provider in Dubai. Her creative sequencing style was born out of her own curiosity and research into the human body and many other movement disciplines. Learn more about Sarah and her creative sequence teacher training here or follow her on Instagram @Sar_white for more creative inspiration.

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