Yoga Pose: Ardha Chandrasana


Holding my balance in a modified version of Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Photo by Alabaster Crowley, my awesomely talented cousin.

Yoga poses are good for physical health, mental health, emotional health and also have an anatomical focus and therapeutic benefits.
Recently I took part in a 20-hour Restorative Yoga teacher training with one of my favorite teachers and people, Vickie.
Every day we focused on different issues. One day the class was dedicated to women’s issues.
According to  a study done by Yoga Journal in 2012, 82.2 percent of yoga practitioners are women.
Since the majority of my yoga students will be women I will encounter women in various stages of their life: menstruation; pregnancy; and menopause.
When I was still in my Deep Yoga teacher training I wrote about the day we learned about women’s issues and we practiced while being “pregnant.”
The benefits of Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose, which is pictured), according to Yoga Journal, are that the pose strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine; stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine; improves coordination and sense of balance; helps relieve stress; and improves digestion.
Some of the anatomical focuses are: groins, spine, abdomen among many others.
According to an article Geeta S. Iyengar wrote on the Iyengar Yoga website, Ardha Chandrasana helps with the heavy bleeding, backache and abdominal cramps caused by menstruation.
The therapeutic applications of this pose, according to Yoga Journal, are: anxiety; backache; osteoporosis; sciatica; fatigue; constipation; gastritis; indigestion; and menstrual pain.
According to The Woman’s Yoga Book: Asana and Pranayama for All Phases of the Menstrual Cycle by Bobby Clennell, Ardha Chandrasana helps to reduce a heavy menstrual flow and relieves menstrual cramps.
According to Alternative Medicine, Half Moon Pose tones the pelvic floor, helps slow heavy bleeding, relieves backaches and increases circulation to chest, pelvis and legs.
Self says, the pose helps to open your pelvic region, help stop heavy bleeding and relieves cramps.
According to Yoga Wiz, performing yoga poses like Ardha Chandrasana can help ease the pain of menstrual cramps and make it more bearable.
Obviously, Ardha Chandrasana is not the only pose recommended to ease symptoms of menstruation. In fact, between the tips from one of my yoga teachers and my own research I wrote a sequence to practice during menstruation. Ardha Chandrasana is just one of many poses in my sequence.