This new series of blog posts features tips and tricks by teachers and students, each of whom has mastered a specific posture in the Bikram Yoga series! Think of it as an “insider’s guide” to doing the poses – each week you’ll learn something new that will help you advance your own practice!
Posture: Half Moon with Hands to Feet Pose (Ardha-Chandrasana with Pada-Hastasana)
Expert: BYV Student Jacob B.
- Lock your arms! Fully engage your arm muscles during the setup, before you start the posture. Not having to engage each muscle one by one, as it is needed, makes things much easier and you will feel stronger.
- Lift your entire body up to the ceiling! Continue to lift up while you bend to the side. This will help to create the space between the vertebrae that’s needed to reach maximum depth. Focusing on LIFTING throughout the posture will stop the chest collapsing and promote proper alignment.
- During the backbend, think about distributing the bend evenly over the entire spine. Imagine your spine as a perfect arch; do not hinge over at one spot. Work on the flexibility of your least-flexible vertebrae.
- LIFT through the entire backbend. Imagine there is a bar up near your shoulders that you need to bend over top of.
- In the third part of the pose, really glue your body to your legs! This is the most important part of the posture. Like the dialogue says, you want “no room for light or air between the upper body and the legs.” This should be taken literally.
- Work hard to get your elbows as close as possible to each other behind the calf muscles. This promotes proper alignment and has a major impact on how you do the rest of the posture.
- Instead of just pushing the knees back, think about lifting the hips up toward the ceiling. This will help you distribute the stretch throughout your lower spine, hips and hamstrings. If you’re only thinking about pushing the knees back, the stretch will be focused on the backs of the knees. This could potentially result in over-stretching the hamstrings.
- Try to move your face further and further down the shins. This combined with lifting the hips will really help stretch out the lower spine!
We’re also planning to post tips on Half Moon from Cassie C. Stay tuned!