Monday, August 18, 2014

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Revolved Half-Moon Pose

Challenge your balance and strength in Revolved Half-Moon Pose, Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana, also known as Twisted Half-Moon Pose. Strengthen the muscles in the legs, ankles, and core, while building focus in the mind. Revolved Half-Moon Pose involves a twist in the torso, which are known to be beneficial to the internal organs, creating a cleansing or “ringing-out” effect.

Find the balance of ease and effort in the posture. Notice the standing leg is strong, straight and firmly grounded, while the extended leg is lifting and lengthening, almost “taking flight”. The examples of opposition in the pose help to create balance that we strive to achieve both on and off of our yoga mat.

To come into Revolved Half-Moon Pose, first begin in a grounded twisting posture, Revolved Triangle Pose, Parivrtta Trikonasana. To come into Revolved Triangle Pose, Parivrtta Trikonasana: Step the feet 3 1⁄2 to 4 feet apart.

Turn the right foot straight forward and turn the back foot out to a 45 degree angle. Ideally, in this pose, we have heel to heel alignment, yet that
can be quite challenging. Option to toe-heel the right, front foot, out wider to create a “wider-stance” similar to the appearance of train tracks rather than walking on a tight-rope.

Bring the palms to the hips and take a deep inhalation and a long and smooth exhalation to prepare. Take another inhale breath, and on an exhale fold forward with a flat back, extending through the spine. Drop the left hand to the inside or outside of the right foot, option to use a block for support. (Dropping the hand to the outside of the front foot is more challenging). The right hand can stay on the hip or reach the right hand up towards the sky.

Press down through the base of the front big toe, while grounding through both heels and lifting through the inner arches of both feet. Work to maintain balance in the hips, level, or “squared” towards the ground. Draw the right hip back and “pin” the left hip “in” towards the mid-line of the body. On an inhale breath, draw the heart space and crown of the head forward, and on an exhale breath, twist the torso, the right and left side of the rib-cage open towards the right.

The gaze can be down at the ground, towards the right side of the room, or up towards the sky. If the neck feels strained while looking up, keep the gaze down or towards the right-side of the room.

To move into Revolved Half-Moon Pose from Revolved Triangle Pose: Unwind from the twist in the torso and come back to neutral with the torso facing down towards the ground. Bring the right palm back to the hip if it was extended upwards, towards the ceiling. On an inhale breath, begin to shift the weight forwards towards the right leg and lift the back (in this case, the left leg). Option to bring the extended leg against the wall for support. Bring the left hand to the ground or use a block for support. Walk the fingertips in front of the right foot and then over towards the left for more stability in order to find balance.

Flex the back toes, on the lifted leg, down towards the ground and extend energy through that same heel. Lift the left leg from the inner thigh. Take an inhale breath in preparation for the twist. On an exhale breath, begin to twist the torso towards the right-side of the room with the option to reach the right hand up towards the ceiling. Notice the hips are still facing downwards, or neutrally rotated towards the ground, while the twist begins at the core. Feel the heart space and the right shoulder open towards the ceiling. Similar to the instructions in Revolved Triangle Pose, you can keep the gaze downwards towards the ground or walk the gaze towards the side of the room or up towards the ceiling.

On an inhale breath, extend length through the crown of the head in order to extend more length through the spine. On an exhale breath, twist deeper into the pose, opening through the right shoulder and expanding through the area in the chest. Draw the heart-space or sternum forward while extending length through the tailbone.

Notice the length in the spine and the opening of the chest. The standing leg is strong and straight while the lifted-leg is lengthening and “taking-flight”. Stay here and breathe for 3-5 breaths, creating long and smooth inhales and exhales.

To come out: begin to unwind from the twist, bringing the torso facing back down towards the ground. Slowly lower the lifted leg back down and bring the back foot back to a 45 degree angle (similar to the instructions and feet placement in Revolved Triangle Pose). Bring the palms to the hips, lift the gaze, and with a flat-back begin to rise up.

Take the same preparatory pose, Revolved Triangle Pose on the other side and then move into Revolved Half-Moon Pose with mindfulness and focusing on the breath.

Notice how you feel after doing the pose while creating balance and strength in the body. Come to Downward Facing Dog for a few breaths in order to calm the breath and bring a relaxed state back to the body and mind.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga

Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mount Streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact for more info.

IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. Go to

to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.

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