Yoga Poses: Ardha Chandrasana (Anjaneyasana)

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Ardha Chandrasana ‘half moon pose’ is also known as Anjaneyasana ‘low lunge pose’ is one of the main components of the traditional Surya Namaskar ‘Sun Salutations’ flow. (You can watch a time-lapsed video of Surya Namaskar on my Instagram here.)

From a standing position, use the inhale to raise the arms overhead, lengthening the spine, and then use the exhale to bend forward at the waist, bringing the head to the knees and planting the hands on the ground.

Inhale and engage the core muscles, bringing the right foot back and dropping the right knee and foot. Ensure that the knee on your left leg does not move past the toes of the left foot as this places unnecessary strain on the knee joint that could result in injury. Ideally, it should be centered over the ankle.

Raise the arms overhead, bending the back gently and enjoying a good stretch along the front of the body as you gaze upwards. Breathe deeply and enjoy the stability and ease you find in the pose. Use your exhale to lower the arms back down.

Repeat with the left leg. There are two easy ways to switch sides if not using it in a flow sequence: 1) by walking your right leg forward into Padhastasana ‘hand to foot pose’ also known as Uttanasana the ‘standing forward bend’, with the head as close to the knees as possible and hands planted on the ground, and then stepping back with the left leg on your next inhale; or, 2) step the left leg back and come into Parvatasana ‘mountain pose’ or Adho Mukha Svanasana ‘downward dog’, and then step forward with the right leg, dropping the left knee to the ground.

Benefits
Opens the hips, chest, and shoulders – activates the anahata chakra. It can be beneficial for sciatica issues.

Contraindications
This pose is not advised for people with ankle or knee problems, or with heart problems.

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