An Easy Guide to Ardha Chandrasana, or Half Moon Pose
Ardha Chandrasana, or Half Moon Pose, is an important yoga pose because the moon symbol has a lot of significance in yoga mythology. For example, in hatha yoga, the moon and the sun symbolise the two opposing energies of the human body. Practicing Ardha Chandrasana is useful for developing a sense of balance and coordination in the body –helping body and mind feel united.
Physically Ardha Chandrasana is a great stretch for the legs, the chest and spine, and will strengthen your knees.
This yoga pose is also good for strengthening the abdomen and will help to relieve gastric issues.
We recommend it to anyone struggling to develop a sense of balance because they'll get the support that comes with keeping one hand on the floor - like learning to ride a bike with stabilisers.
Plus, all that opening up through the side of the body makes it an excellent heart opener.
Watch a clip for this yoga pose
How to do Ardha Chandrasana, or Half Moon Pose, in easy steps
Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), then move into Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana), your right foot forward.
Bend the right knee and bring the left foot in about one foot's length, towards the right foot.
Place the fingertips of the right hand on the floor, the hand is about one foot in front of the right foot, diagonally in line with the little toe.
If new to the pose, place your hand on a wooden block to give you some lift.
Strongly press your right foot and fingertips into the floor. The left hand is resting on the hip.
Straighten your right standing leg while you slowly raise the left leg, pushing through the left heel and pointing the toes up. Keep extending through both legs.
Draw the thigh muscles of the right leg up towards your groins. Become firm on the right foot, feel the big toe and the heel strongly rooting into the ground.
Be aware of the standing knee cap. Lift and soften. Ensure it's facing forward and is in line with the middle toe.
Revolve the lower abdomen, spine and shoulders up.
Lift the left hip - aim to bring it in line with the right hip.
Lengthen the torso and extend the tailbone toward your raised heel.
Only lightly press the fingers of the right hand into the floor (or block), the weight is mainly on the standing right leg.
If you want to take it further, inhale and slowly lift your left hand up in line with the shoulders, pointing the fingertips towards the ceiling.
Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
Exhaling, bend the right leg slightly at the knee, and lower the left leg gently to the ground. Return to Uttitha Trikonasana and repeat on the other side.
Yoga pose category: Standing
Don’t worry if you’re struggling with this pose –it’s not easy. To make it easier, try putting a yoga block under your hand so that you don’t have to stretch as far. This will help you concentrate on perfecting the arm and leg positioning before you practice the full stretch.
Sanskrit words meaning:
Ardha - half
Chandra - moon
Asana - pose
Yoga pose health benefits:
Like all yoga poses, Half Moon Pose has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:
Yoga pose contraindications:
Don’t practice Half Moon Pose if you have any of the following health conditions:
Low blood pressure
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is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.