Monday, January 7, 2013

Strengthening & Twisting: Ardha Chandrasana & Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana

             Strengthening and twisting are very important to a dynamic yoga practice. One will use "prep posing" to adjust and move "Helper Muscles" these will be extremely helpful in creating a strong and flexible body that can withstand the kind of physical and mental balance needed to fully express an asymmetrical pose like both Ardha Chandrasana & Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana.
                  Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) is a great pose for building strength, balance and rotation in the hip sockets.
It's challenging pose partner Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose) also creates hip mobility while strengthening and twisting the chest, torso & legs. Each pose can be modified using simple adjustments and can be worked on daily to enhance alignment in the body.
                After sun salutes or seated poses where one has stretched their legs and one can take fully Tri Konasana (Triangle Pose), One can move into either posture.

Preparation for Ardha Chandrasana
B.K.S. Iyengar from "Light on Yoga"
From Tri Konasana, bend your front knee keeping the weight in the heels and lifting the standing leg up off the ground, taking the body weight forward onto the standing leg.
Fingertips, or palm for the seasoned practitioner, gently pressing towards the ground, inhale and exhale hold. Make note of any areas of discomfort, make any adjustments and breath.

Pushing greatly through the front heel for the front leg straighten the front leg strongly reaching the heel to the floor lifting rhe back leg and coming into Ardha Chandrasana.
Work leg muscles and release the spine in postures like:
Supta Padangusthasana(Reclining Big Toe Pose) Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
 Matsyendrasana (Fish Pose)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half King of the Fish Pose) Matsyendrasana 2 (King of the Fish Pose 2)
Janu Sirsana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Padmasana, (Lotus Pose & Prep Pose)
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose),
Parivrtta Tri Konasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)

For Beginners!

Tadasana - Mountain Pose

Firstly start your practice in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), holding for 2- 12 breaths or moving through the pose to other related postures in the Tadasana Family.

Since this is a basic posture the body will feel balanced and at easy, this is ideally how you should feel fully expressed in the following poses; balanced and at ease! 

To do Tadasana- Mountain Pose:

Toes are spread ball and heel of feet reaching into the floor, while the arches are lifted, so there is no dropping in the ankles.

Leg muscles engaged  and lifted, tops of the thighs moving back slightly as to put the weight in the heels- counter acted by the tail bone dropping slightly. Leg Muscles are holding the bones of the legs up and the hips are neutral not spilling forward or back, abdominals are engaged.

Hands are usually fingers spread with palm facing forward, as if should you bring your pinky fingers to the hem of your pants they should divide the body evenly in two. Arms reaching downwards, straight and away from the body as to scoop out the arm pits, not allowing them to touch the outer ribs. The back of the neck is long, crown of the head reaching straight up. Through the entire body from feet to head there is an energy channel that we are experiencing, and through a gentle but effective inhale and exhale and through holding this pose for any amount of time from 2- unlimited breaths the body becomes at easy and balanced- so to say.