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Patrick in Half Moon pose

This week’s class theme is ✨ Summer ✨

The Dog Days are approaching and we’re running full speed into the long, sunny vibes of summer! Beyoncé is letting us know that nothing can break us and we’re prepared for it all.

As we welcome the summer solstice, let’s move to Half Moon Pose. Here are three poses that can get you all warmed up for Half Moon pose, or Ardha Chandrasana. These are all firm, powerful poses, playful enough for the bright and sunny days of summer.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana)

Girl in Warrior 2 pose

How to:

1. Begin in Mountain. Step your feet apart 3 and a half to 5 feet apart. This distance will vary from student to student depending on flexibility.
2. Point your front toes 90-degrees toward the front short edge of the mat and your back foot parallel to the back of the mat. Your front heel should bisect the arch of your back foot.
3. Draw energy up through the inner arches of your feet.
4. Lift your arms up and out so that they become parallel to the mat. Bring your palms down and shoulders directly under your hips. Imagine a line of energy pulling through both fingertips.
5. Bend your front knee so that it stacks over your front ankle or slightly behind it.
6. Lengthen your tailbone down while lifting your crown up to the sky.
7. Keep your torso straight up and aligned directly over your hips.
8. Gaze over your front fingers and hold for several breaths. Switch sides.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Girl in Triangle pose

How to:

1. Begin in Warrior II. 
2. Straighten your front leg and begin to reach the forward hand towards the front edge of your mat. Keep the core muscles engaged.
3. Allow the movement to come from your front hip. Keep the spine straight.
4. Begin to bring the upper body down and allow the front hand to rest on your thigh, shin, ankle, or toes depending on your flexibility.
5. Lift the back arm up towards the sky, stacking the shoulders. 
6. Try to keep the torso in line with the thigh to avoid collapsing of the chest. 
7. Hold for several breaths. To release, gently lift the torso up and come back into Warrior II. 
8. Repeat on the opposite side.

Gate Pose (Parighasana)

Girl in Gate pose

How to:

1. Begin in a kneeling position with your hips and sit bones raised up off the mat.
2. Extend your right leg out straight to the side, pressing into your right foot.
3. Keep your left hip and knee in line.
4. Lift your right arm up and over to the left, allowing the bicep of your right arm to frame your ear.
5. Tilt your torso gently over to the left and bring your left hand to rest onto your mat or a block.
6. Gaze up towards your right hand if this is comfortable for you. Option to keep your gaze forward.
7. Stay here for several breaths. To release, sweep your right arm back down, bring your torso back to center directly over your hips. Gently come back to a kneeling position and switch sides.

And finally…Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

How to:

1. From a Standing Forward Fold, bring your fingertips about 8 – 12 inches away from your feet.
2. Gaze forward and begin to shift your weight into your right leg.
3. Begin to lift your left leg up back towards the sky behind you – bringing it parallel to the mat or higher depending on flexibility.
4. Keep a soft bend in your standing knee to avoid locking it.
5. Lift your left arm up towards the sky as you keep your shoulders stacked over each other.
6. Keep your top hip stacked over the bottom hip and open your torso up to the left side of your mat.
6. To advance the pose, bring your gaze up towards the top fingers. If this is too much, keep your gaze softly towards the ground about 2-3 feet away from your toes.
7. To come out of the pose, release your hand and foot back down towards the mat coming back into Standing Forward Fold.