Happy Friday, fellow yogis and soon-to-be yogis. I dedicate this post to rhapsodizing about my all-time favorite yoga pose, Half Moon.
I love Half Moon because it requires from students an intense, yet relaxed concentration. And a willingness to fall. To me, Half Moon captures what yoga is all about: connecting deeply with ourselves and the earth, a sometimes risky, uncomfortable journey.
This pose asks us to really ground our standing foot into the floor, rest our bottom hand or fingertips on the floor (so that you don’t put all of your body weight onto your wrist), and open our hips so that our top leg raises parallel to the floor. Basically, we balance all of our weight on one side of our body, an unnerving notion, yet very fun in practice. What’s more fun than balancing on one foot and kicking the other one high into the air?
To explain this pose, one of my instructors asked us to imagine being pressed between two panes of glass. That metaphor may sound painful or uncomfortable, but it truly captures the essence and purpose of Half Moon. In this pose, we grow up (toward the sky), rather than out, so it sort of feels like we’re leaning against something as we stretch our top arm and continue to open our hips. The glass visual reminds us to keep twisting our torso and hips open and to keep lifting our top arm. Plus, the glass comparison helps us (it helps me, at least) actually balance and feel safe in this pose because it gives me something tangible to think about instead of the fact that I’m balancing my body weight on one leg.
Now go fly like the boss yogis that you are and take Half Moon!