Half Moon Bend Posture - Urdhva Hastasana

Urdhva Hastasana 
(Half Moon Bend Posture)

(are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna) 
ardha = half
candra = glittering, shining, holy brilliance; or “moon”

Though this yoga pose incorporates the name of 'moon', it is a most rejuvenating yoga posture! Stretching the entire line of the body, this pose strengthens the cardiovascular, endocrine, and respiratory systems. Practice only with a health spine as yoga practice of Half Moon Bend Posture requires both strength and flexibility.


 

Benefits


This pose strengthens the line of the body: toes/ankles, thighs/core.
It brings a spiral of energy and improves circulation.
Half-moon opens the sides of the body, lengthening the lungs, improving the ease of the breath.

Contraindications/Cautions


Lumbar Spinal Compression

Slipped Disc (Lumbar)

Recent or chronic injury to the hips, back or neck.

Performing the Asana


From the mountain, place the palms on the low back/sacrum with the fingers pointed down. Press into the feet, pull up the knee caps, and squeeze the thighs and buttocks.

Press the hips forward and begin to arch the torso backwards. Keep the head looking forward, or if it feels safe let it drop all the way back. Use the arms to support your weight and keep the legs and buttocks engaged and strong. 

To release: keep the legs, buttocks and arms strong as you slowly inhale back up, letting the head and neck be the last to come vertical.

 

Anatomical Focus


Hips

Thighs / Legs

Chest Cavity

Therapeutic Applications


Circulation

Regulation of Blood Pressure

Modify Your Practice


For a deeper back bend, carefully walk the hands down the backs of the thighs to the backs of the knees.

Complimentary Yoga Poses


Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Position)
Utthita Dandasana (Staff Standing Pose)