Ardha Chandrasana can be performed on its own or as part of chandra namaskar, also known as salutations to the moon. The twelve positions of surya namaskar relate to the twelve solar phases of the year, the fourteen positions of chandra namaskar relate to the fourteen lunar phases, ardha chandrasana being the additional pose in the sequence. The mantra for ardha chandrasana is Om Vahnivasinyai Namaha, salutations to the one who resides in fire.
How to do Ardha Chandrasana:
– Begin in a lunge position, making sure that the knee is directly over the ankle and finger tips and toes are in one line.
– Tuck the back toes so the weight is on the ball of the foot.
– Maintain balance here and raise the hands, stretching both arms over head.
– Arch the back and look up, raising the chin.
– There should be a gentle curve from the tips of the fingers to the tips of the toes, resembling a crescent moon.
– Hold the pose and breathe deeply. Lower the arms and place the hands on either side of the foot, change the legs and repeat on the other side.
How it helps:
Ardha chandrasana is great for opening up the shoulders and the hips. Its gives a stretch to the quadriceps and hip flexer as well as manipura chakra, stimulating digestive fire.