6.10.2010

Asana of the Week: Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana



This week's asana is Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana, otherwise known as Revolved Half Moon pose. This is an awkward standing balance with a twist that requires strong grounding through the standing leg and a very active extended leg to provide the foundation necessary for the twist.

Pushing strongly through both legs is important in this asana to keep the hips stabilized for the twist and allow for extension of the spine. I also find that by grounding strongly and twisting from the waist, I get a nice opening sensation in the outer hip of the standing leg.  Strong flexion of the floating leg is the key to balance and extension in this pose.  The more you push out through that heel, the more stable your pose will be.

Building the strength in the legs and core necessary to accomplish this pose took some time, and in the early days of my practice I dreaded it. Now, however, I enjoy popping forward into Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana any time I practice Parivrtta Trikonasana, by simply bending the front knee and grounding the hand 8-10 inches in front of the big toe, then inhaling forward into Revolved Half Moon Pose. It's a natural transition, mirroring the more common Triangle-to-Half Moon vinyasa.

I have two Revolved Half Moon sequences for you this week. The first sequence involves a good deal of twisting, and the second is more of a balancing challenge. Both are good core work and very effective hip openers.

Revolved Sequence
  1. Anjaneyasana (Crescent Warrior)
  2. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle)
  3. Parsvottanasana
  4. Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle)
  5. Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon)
  6. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
  7. Vinyasa
  8. Repeat 1-7 on the opposite side.
Balancing Sequence
  1. Anjaneyasana (Crescent Warrior)
  2. Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)
  3. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
  4. Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose) 
  5. Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (Standing Splits)
  6. Vinyasa
  7. Repeat 1-6 on the opposite side.

How do you practice Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana?

3 comments:

  1. I love this pose and actually find it much easier to balance in than the unreversed version. I do it with the lower hand on my sacrum though for shoulder support.

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  2. Rachel - interesting that you find the revolved version easier than regular ol' half moon. I still find the twisted version to be quite a bit more of a challenge. I usually bring my hand to the sacrum or hip when coming into the pose to help me feel the right hip placement before extending the arm up.

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  3. I'm not sure I agree, Rachel. My boss, Leeann Carey seems to think half moon pose is easier than revolved, but it is important to really understand half moon before going into revolved half moon. She has a free yoga video on this subject that I think the readers could benefit from: http://planetyoga.com/yoga-blogs/index.php/free-yoga-video-pose-breakdown-of-half-moon-pose/

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