Half moon pose with hands to feet pose
So you’ve just finished 20 minutes of Pranayama breathing. Surely it’s time to lie down. No, in fact it’s not. This is Bikram and once the party starts it doesn’t stop for 90 minutes! You’re headed right into the half moon with hands to feet pose.
Half moon (Ardha Chandrasana) pose strengthens every muscle in the core of your body and increases the flexibility of your entire spine, while promoting better function of the kidneys. And that’s what you can’t see! While you’re reaching for the ceiling and bending to the right and left, beyond your (or anyone else’s) flexibility, something really spectacular is happening. The more you do half moon pose, the trimmer and tighter your waist, rear, abdomen and thighs will be. The backward bend that follows pushes your back, stomach and legs to a new level of strength. It’s kind of like a powerhouse posture, and there isn’t anything sweeter than the first time you see the wall behind you.
From half moon you go straight into hands to feet (Pada Hastasana) and this is where it gets dicey because no one can naturally get their elbows behind their calves in most people’s minds. But here’s where you want to have a “competitive yogi” picked out. Look around and find the person in the room is who’s doing it with precision, and then copy them! If you can get into this pose, with your fingers under your heels, your stomach on your thighs, chest on your knees and your head inexplicably below your knees (with a smiling happy face no less) you will be working the muscles, ligaments and tendons of your legs and improving circulation as well. And hey, why not try locking the knee? Hands to feet builds on the toning you started in the half moon, so you can trust that you’re getting a complete core workout.
Smart guy, that Bikram!
Look! Even tree likes to do half moon every once in a while. I found this one practicing at Ault Park.
Posted by: Liz Alfano