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Picture of Revolved Half Moon Pose

 

Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana: Revolved Half Moon Pose


Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (PAHR-ee-VREE-tah ARD-uh chan-DRAHS-uh-nuh), or Revolved Half Moon pose, requires balance, focus, strength, and flexibility. Maintaining the posture requires balancing energy in the legs and arms; the upper body and the lower. Although challenging, Revolved Half Moon pose evokes the cooling, rejuvenating qualities of the moon, making it a great posture for late day and bedtime practice.

Philosophy + Origin

The moon is significant in every culture, and to many, the state of the moon influences the individual state of being. On full moon days, for example, you might feel headstrong and overly ambitious. New moon days can leave you feeling unmotivated and meek. These extremes, balance out as the moon makes its way from new to full. In Revolved Half Moon pose, you are asked to find that balance by equally using the arms, legs, upper body, and lower body. When found, this physical equanimity brings mental balance, which can lead to discovering that “sweet spot” in all aspects of life.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Place a block under your bottom hand for support to achieve proper alignment.
  • Press the sole of your raised foot firmly against a wall for support and to learn how to correctly engage the leg muscles.
  • To increase the challenge of this posture, keep your lower hand off the floor, bringing it into a mudra or to your heart.
  • If raising the gaze upward strains your neck, keep it to the side or downward.

CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS:

  • Foot, ankle and hamstring injuries
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Pregnancy
  • Low blood pressure

TIPS:

When practicing this pose, it’s easy to try to do too much at once. Don’t compromise the important elements that keep you safe. Make sure you keep the standing leg engaged; not locking the knee or hyperextending. Both legs should be working equally. Simultaneously, your lifted leg and the lifted arm should also be working, lifting energetically from the origin joint to keep both afloat. If any of these actions are too difficult, work in Ardha Chandrasana or spend time in poses that prepare the body.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Entering this pose is easiest from Triangle Pose. Start with your right foot forward. Place your left hand on your left hip as you shift your weight into the right foot, bending your right knee. As you shift your weight, bring your left foot halfway up your mat so that you can place your right hand on the floor, just in front and slightly to the outside of your right foot.
  2. Use the breath to help lift your left leg off the floor as you begin to straighten your standing leg. Keep lifting your left leg until it’s parallel with the floor. Actively press through the heel of your left foot, like you’re making a footprint in an imaginary surface behind you. The toes of your lifted foot should point toward the floor.
  3. Use your left hand to guide your left hip so it’s in line with the right with both hip points facing evenly down toward the mat. Your lower back should be as flat as possible. Bring your left hand to the top of the mat, rotating your upper body toward the right.
  4. Take your right hand to your hip and re-check to make sure the hips are even. Continue engaging both legs, ensuring that the toes of your standing foot, as well as your kneecap, point directly toward the top end of your mat. Find length along your spine, and feel energy move from the sole of your left foot to and out through the crown of your head. Continue rotating your upper torso toward the right of your mat as much as possible.
  5. Extend the right arm up towards the sky, making a straight line from the left arm to the right. If it’s comfortable for your neck, turn to look at the right thumb. Hold the pose for up to 10 breaths before releasing back into Triangle pose. Step up to Tadasana then step back with the opposite leg to repeat on the other side.

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PREPARATORY POSES:

  • Ardha Chandrasana
  • Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
  • Parivrtta Supta Padangusthasana
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana
  • Parsvottanasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana
  • Utthita Trikonasana
  • Virabhadrasana III
  • Vrksasana

FOLLOW-UP POSES:

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Svanasana

SANSKRIT:

  • Parivrtta = revloving
  • Ardha = half
  • Chandra = moon
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Detoxifies the body
  • Strengthens standing leg
  • Improves core strength
  • Opens shoulders, hips and pelvis
  • Increases balance

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Revitalizes the mind
  • Balances energy
  • Improves focus and mental clarity

MANTRA:

“So Hum”

Chanting this simple mantra helps to bring you back into balance with the universe around and within you. Translated to mean “I am that,” it is thought that this mantra echoes the breathing of every living thing on the planet.

MUDRA: Shuni Mudra

The twisting aspect of Revolved Half Moon pose makes this posture beneficial for digestion. Shuni mudra helps us digest emotions and thoughts, increasing both intuition and alertness. To practice, bring the tip of the middle finger to the tip of your thumb. Extend the other three fingers out.

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