The English, for ARDHA is “half”, and CHANDRA is the name of the moon goddess. Consequently, ARDHA-CHANDRASANA may be approximated as the “pose of the crescent moon”.
This pose is a standing pose. The weight of the trunk and head determine a backward flexion of the spine, by means of the gravitational force, which helps and naturally enhances the flexibility of the spine.
HOW TO PERFORM THIS ASANA
Although apparently this asana is simple, its efficient execution requires some essential steps that have to be followed when attempting to perform this asana.
It is important that you follow exactly the starting position and the rest of the indications. The starting pose determines the correct execution of this asana.
Stand on your feet, soles parallel at the length of the shoulders. Try to place the weight of the body on the entire surface of the soles.
Rise your arms above your head, as high as you can. Palms are oriented to the front, relaxed. The position is correct if the line from your fingertips to you heels is perfectly straight. In order to achieve this, straighten up the spine and maintain your head vertical and straight.
Bend your head towards the back until you see your fingertips.
Progressively bend the upper part of your trunk towards the back. Avoid the bending of the sensitive part of the spine, the sacral region.
Try to curve only the upper part of the spine. In order to do so, you have to each vertebra of the spine, beginning with the cervical area, though without involving the lumbar area.
Although it is practically impossible that this area does not participate at all in this backward flexion, try to involve this area as little as possible. In order to bend the trunk towards the back, imagine that the vertebras are opening gradually, in a fan-like movement.
You will perform this asana a lot easier if you bear this image in mind.
Concomitantly with the bending of the spine towards the back, the pelvis will be forced forward. The feet are perfectly straight, and the weight of the body is equally supported by the entire surface of the soles.
Maintain this position for as long as you can. Breathe normally. If you practise this asana for a longer period, you will notice that the breath becomes more superficial and slower, so that the time of one inhalation and that of one exhalation coincide.
concentrate so as to perceive the flow of cosmic energy captured by the arms, and its movement through arms and trunk. Try to perceive the energy activating SWADHISTHANA CHAKRA in its emitting, controlling aspect.
You will also perceive:
- The effervescence of your erotic potential energy.
- Enhanced capacity of controlling the erotic energy.
- The tension of the sacral plexus is eliminated.
- Gradual disappearance of sexual repression and inhibitions.
After you practise this asana for some time, you will sense that your erotic feelings have become more refined and that your creative imagination is enhanced and controlled at will.
- Systematic practice of this asana restores perfect verticality to the spine, determining the correct position of the spine and the normal position of the pelvis. Thus, exaggerated curves of the spine are gradually eliminated.
- Consequently, ARDHA-CHANDRASANA is one of the most efficient poses of backward flexion which realise correct verticality and static of the spine. It is not an accidental fact that this asana is integrated in SURYA NAMASKARA, “The Sun Salute.”
- ARDHA-CHANDRASANA is a great help in learning the correct bodily attitude which eases and cures disorders of the spine.
- The bend of the pelvis towards the front determines a strong activation of Swathisthana Chakra in its emissive, Yang aspect.
- The practice of this asana determines the irrigation of the spine and the two chains of ganglions belonging to the sympathetic nervous system, and which are placed on both sides of the spine. This is the process by which numerous functional disorders and organic lesions are cured.
- The abdominal muscles becomes stronger and consequently the waist is thinner.
- Pregnant women will benefit from the practice of this asana, as it guarantees an almost painless labour.