Relieve Lower Back Pain with Half Moon

Pose: Half Moon

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Chandrasana


How do I prepare for the pose?

Props

Three blocks. A wall or a version of wall. 

Pranayama – Breath work

Inhale and exhale rhythmically in the pose to center yourself in the present moment, so you can let go of tension and increase your vitality. 

Step one = Align

Align your body, heart, and mind with your intention. 

Pause and reflect. Decide how you want to feel while you are in the pose. Ask yourself these questions: What do you need to let go of (exhale)? What do you want to receive (inhale)? 

Step two = Energize 

Read How do I practice the pose? first. Do your best to remember the directions, but try not to get caught up in doing the pose perfectly. 

Once you get a sense of the directions in the pose, feel the positive emotion(s) and match that with your intention. Breathe mindfully. Then, and only if it’s comfortable for you, close your eyes, disconnect from the world, and feel the positive emotion(s) you want to feel.

Step three = Heal 

Repeat the pose 3 times on each side. You are repeating the pose to unlearn imbalanced movement patterns and relearn balanced movement patterns to relieve pain in your lower back.  

Caution If your back is hurting at any point, mindfully exit the pose the opposite way you entered.


How do I practice the pose? 

Align. 

  • Set up the mat longwise next to the wall. 
  • Stand in the middle of the mat facing towards the center of the room. 
  • Start with your right leg as your standing leg. 
  • Turn your right foot parallel to the wall. 
  • Prop-assistance. Place three blocks near the top of the mat. 
  • Prop-assistance. Tip your torso sideways. Position one block in line with right foot, under your right shoulder. 
  • Prop-assistance. Place the second block at your right lower thigh (right above your knee) and the wall and press into the block. 
  • As you lift your left leg upward, lead with the hamstring side (back side) of your leg to prevent external rotation, and place your heel on the wall. 
  • As you tip the right side of your torso downward, align your torso parallel with the floor, and place your right hand on the block. 
  • Prop-assistance. Position the third block between the outer lower thigh of your lifted leg and the wall. Press into the block. 
  • Lift the left arm up to the sky, palm facing forward, and extend through the fingers. 
  • Slightly twist the torso upward (at the diaphragm), keep the hips stable, and gently relax your head on the wall. 
  • Press your inner and outer heel of your lifted leg into the wall to engage the lower core.  

Energize your lower and upper core. 

  • On your standing leg, keep the foot active. Press down through the big toe and fan out the other toes. Evenly press down through the inner and outer heel to connect with the earth and draw energy into your core.  
  • Breathe rhythmically and mindfully. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) you want to feel. 

Heal. Breathe rhythmically and mindfully for 10-20 breaths. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) you want to feel. 

Exit the pose. 

  • Before exiting the pose, remove the blocks. 
  • Inhale and lift yourself up and out of the pose with the strength of your lifted arm and lifted leg. 
  • Return to Mountain. 
  • Repeat the pose on the second side with opposite leg directions. 

Once you are in the pose, go within. Breathe rhythmically and mindfully.

  • Exhale and let go of what no longer serves you: pain, tension, tightness, anxiety, fear, sadness, lack, scarcity, insecurity, separation, and so forth. 
  • Inhale and feel what you want to bring into your future: suppleness, flexibility, strength, freedom, joy, happiness, peace, vitality, loving-kindness, inclusivity, connection, unity, understanding, abundance, love, wealth, good health, gratitude, and so forth. 
  • Breathe rhythmically and mindfully. If possible, remain in the pose long enough to feel the elevated positive emotion(s) you want to feel. 

How do I exit the pose?

  • First inhale and then exhale out of the pose.
  • Return to Mountain and feel the effects of the pose.

 

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