To initiate “Half Moon Yoga Pose,” stand against a wall, reach one leg straight out to the side against the wall and reach the arm on the same side, up to the sky. Extend the opposite arm down to the ground in line with the arm reaching up the wall. This is a beautiful and challenging balance posture called: “Half Moon Yoga Pose.” As is described in Chinese philosophy, practicing this balance posture brings together the energy from the moon (calming) and the sun (intense and fiery), as you evoke this healing energy to travel throughout the body along the “meridians” (defined in traditional Chinese Medicine “as channels that form a network through which QI or vital energy flows” (www.cancer.gov).
As the Yoga practioners at Shield Wellness Center in Sebring demonstrate, “Half Moon Pose” is a way to strengthen core muscles and tighten the abdomen. The challenge of “Half Moon Pose” is to keep the side body open and long, not collapsing or bending forward toward the ground.
“Half Moon Pose” not only strengthens the abdominal muscles when concentrating to hold the pose but the standing leg muscles are tightened through the groin, hips and thighs.
“Half Moon Pose” is a beautiful posture, as you can see in the picture with Yoga practioners at Shield Wellness Center in Sebring. (Left to Right): Lorrine Palmer, Leticia Gil, Joyce Shafer, Tamra Shafer and Cindy Edgar.
If you have difficulty, at first, initiating the correct form, use a chair for balance or a wooden Yoga block. Wooden blocks offer the greatest stability when learning a new balance posture by resting the extended hand onto the block.
When practicing new Yoga postures, always experiment with ways to gain your own balance and extended range of motion. With time and practice, the body will gradually transition into the correct Yoga form.
Yoga poses are meant to be learned with practice and gradual improvement, as the overall body becomes more flexibility and stronger. Practice “Half Moon Pose” on both sides to work on postural imbalances. If your chest is tight from sitting long periods at a computer, do some hip openers such as deep forward bends with wide legs and bending each knee forward before returning to a standing posture. If you lose your balance while practicing, take a deep breath and realign the torso. It also helps to keep your eyes focused straight ahead. If you have trouble reaching the floor, take small moves to work gradually into loosing the core. Bend forward slowly grabbing wide legs with the hands. Hold the pose and let the body slowly loosen. As you prepare to practice this new pose, do some forward bends with hands on the hips while you inhale/exhale deeply. Cleanse the body through the breath. Remember, all practice is important so keep practicing with joy and “fortitude”!
Join the FREE Yoga classes at Shield Wellness Center, U.S. 27 North just past the left turn off to Sun and Lakes Blvd. Shield is on U.S. 27, on the right. Classes are held: Tuesdays, 1 to 2 p.m., Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. and Fridays, 1 to 2 p.m.