Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Background of Asana

Yoga 7:30 A day
S. Moore

Ardha Chandrasana's english name is the Half Moon Pose. According to Yoga Journal, the moon is a very important part to Yoga. "In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body." Since the moon is one of the important aspects to the history of Yoga, this pose is also very beneficial because of the many benefits, listed in the "Therapeutic Benefits and Awareness" post found lower on my blog. This pose can be challenging because it focuses on many different muscles in your body and also requires you to set a strong foundation to help you balance in this Asana.

More background information found on Yoga
"(are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna)
ardha = half
candra = glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light (said of the gods); usually translated as moon"

Personal Benefits and Awareness of Asana

In this pose, I feel a stretch in my legs but when I breathe into the pain it helps me concentrate on the pose. According to Yoga Journal, this pose also "stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine". For this pose, it is very important to have balance or it is very hard to complete this pose.Personally, I found balancing was challenging so I took the modification of using a block to help me keep my balance. This helped me relieve stress and I found after the pose, I felt a lot more at ease. According to Yoga Blog, the Therapeutic benefits include relief of "anxiety, ,backache, osteoporosis, sciatica, fatigue, constipation, gastritis, indigestion, and lastly menstrual pain". This pose is also challenging since it works six major muscles in your body that I listed above.

Since Yoga is a major stress reliever, I found personally that doing yoga poses, such as the Half Moon pose, can really help when I find myself stressing over school. It gives me a moment to quiet my mind and concentrate on the poses. I am able to forget about the worries and focus on only myself. I also really enjoy the feeling of my muscles warming and after stretching, I feel healthier and more focused for the tasks I will have to do next.

Critical Elements of the Half Moon Pose

Above is a photo of myself using a modification and an image of a professional in the lower right corner that I found on Yoga Journal of the Half Moon pose (the english name for Ardha Chandrasana), to help you reach and understand what this pose should look like. To achive this pose you should start with a solid foundation by placing either your right hand about twelve inches in front of your right foot and parallel to it. Then you should raise your left leg to a right angle and so it is perfectly alligned with your body, with your left hand on your hip. When you are steady, you should raise your left arm (so that it is alligned with your right) and straighten it out. You should also turn your head to look up at the sky. After several breaths in this pose, you should return to Trikonasana and then continue to practice this position on the left side as well.

In this pose, the muscles that are important would be with the foot that you have firmly placed on the floor, you should contract your quadriceps and bring them back into the bone. You should also do this for the other leg to maintain your balance.
Lowering your shoulder blades back into your spine is also very important and can help keep your arms in allignment. Also, I found it important to relax your neck and breathe into the stretch.Contracting these muscles help you balance and it also helps you to stretch your legs out.

Here is a youtube link to help you further understand the critical aspects and elements this pose requires:

Pizer, By Ann. "Half Moon Yoga Pose - Ardha Chandrasana." Yoga. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. .

"Yoga Journal - Half Moon Pose." Yoga Journal: Yoga Poses, Classes, Meditation, and Life - On and Off the Mat - Namaste. Web. 17 Nov. 2010. .