Ardha Chandrasana a.k.a “half-moon pose”. The moon has great symbolism in yogic thought. The sun and the moon are representative of the two opposing energies within the human anatomy.
Ardha Chandrasana is an excellent asana for learning how to balance and keep peace of mind whilst in this disorientating position. It also teaches you to breath into the side of your body, thus increasing lung dimension.
How to get into the position
From standing at the top of your mat, turn to the right and split your legs apart twice your hip width distance, extending your arms level with your shoulders. Bring your right hand or finger tips to the floor in front of your right foot while simultaneously lifting your left foot off the floor. Keep your legs as straight as possible and flex your left foot so that your toes point toward the left side of the room.
Fix your vision / gaze on the floor to the side of your palm. Keep your hand above your shoulder to begin with. For the full posture, place your palm on the rear leg (as in the above picture).
On the inhalation, line your shoulders on top of one another; stacking the left shoulder on top of the right shoulder. Open your hips on the exhalation by rotating your left knee cap towards the ceiling. Hold the position for five full breaths.
Improves balance and core strength
Strengthens the ankles and thighs
Increases flexibility in the spine muscles
Stretches the hamstrings
Avoid this posture if you have Osteoporosis or any knee issues or hypertension.