Please meet Lisa MacLeay. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. She has a beautiful yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana).
This is a standing balancing pose, which lengthens your spine and opens your hips. The resulting shape is a deep opening through these areas, as well as the chest and shoulders. Watch Lisa enter into this asana from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). She will exit the pose and land back in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) as well.
Mind Body Flow Yoga’s Very Lisa MacLeay Owns Half Moon Pose and Her Life-Changing Experience with Yoga
Tuesdays at 9:30am, I try to be at Foundation Flow class. I try my best to protect that 75 minutes every week to practice and learn yoga. Encouragement from my bestie, Mindy, and a rave review from my sister-in-law, Christine, got me through the door. The teaching and coaching in Marina’s class have inspired me on my “2015 Path to Wellness” New Year’s resolution. I really needed one. Last winter was awful. Depressed, overweight, unhappy, ugh. Not 2015. Yoga was part of my new path.
As I round the bend on 50, I want to come in strong and continue at a healthy pace through the decades to come. As a mom of athletes (4 boys ages 9-15) and one myself, I appreciate the benefits that cross training with yoga provides. The exhilaration and exhaustion at the end of class with the lavender cool towel is also one of the best things ever!
Balancing all of life’s busyness, working through yoga class really helped me this spring, in particular. My husband, Tom, and I were trying to decide whether or not to buy my dad’s farm. My class time pretty much was all focused on praying about the farm. Praying for the wisdom. Girlhood dream came true this spring: MacLeay Farm, LLC. Tree Pose.
One thing I know for certain is that the women in my family all develop a genetic tremor around age 60. Good news is that it is not Parkinsons. Bad news is that the tremor can significantly affect the quality of life. I have a hunch our family kyphosis, plus age, plus compression (as we all seem to shrink in height) has something to do with it. I’m sure that continuing to stretch and strengthen physically these next 12 years before hitting that 60’s decade, will help ward off the tolls of age life may bring. That’s my plan of attack, at least. Peaceful warrior.
This Tuesday was a real stretch for me. I am so thankful that my 13 year old, Kyle was with me for class. His spunk and encouragement helped me accept this challenge and “be a yes.” I am not comfortable in front of the camera, don’t like to be the center of attention, and I have a pretty juvenile case of stage fright. Thanks for humoring me. I am still giggling about being stuck in place, unable to think what body part to move because I was ridiculously nervous. Half Moon.
Thank you, Marina. I’m very thankful for you and grateful to be your student.
Leave a comment below. What stood out to you in the testimonial? What significant experience have you had in your yoga journey?
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment with it.
Tips for Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
- Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Take a big step back (approximately 3 feet) with your right foot, turning your foot towards the side of the mat while keeping your left toes pointing forward. Your two hip points are now facing the side of the mat.
- Take the arms out in a “T” with your palms pointing down; your shoulders are relaxed while moving your shoulder blades down your back.
- Place you right hand at your waist.
- Start to bend your left knee, gradually shifting your weight into your left leg as you lift your right foot off the floor. Maintain equal weight in your inner arch, outer arch, forefoot, and heel of your standing foot.
- Simultaneously allow your left hand to float towards the floor or a block, “spidering” your fingers so that you are on the finger pads with fingers spread.
- Your hand should be roughly 12 inches in front of your left foot, stacked directly under your shoulder. Look down to begin, finding a drishti, or gaze point that is unmoving.
- Keep reaching out through the top of your head to encourage length in the spine and neck.
- Flex your right foot strongly to align the shin, keeping your toes pointing to the side wall.
- Pressing out through your heel to lengthen the leg, raise your leg so that it is parallel to the floor or eventually slightly higher to be in a long line continuous with your waist.
- Keeping your left knee cap lifted so that the quadriceps is contracted, begin to straighten your standing leg. Imagine your tail tucking under gently so that your right hip opens further to the right wall.
- To deepen the pose you may extend your right arm up towards the sky, palm facing the same direction as your right toes. You may also turn your gaze to the side wall, or up to your right hand, continuing to lengthen out through the top of your head.
- Breathe comfortably for at least five breaths.
- To exit the pose, exhale looking down towards your left foot, lower the right hand to your waist, gracefully lowering the right foot back to the earth just as you began.
- Draw the low belly in, root down through your feet, and inhale as you rise up.
- Return to Mountain Pose and repeat on the other side.
- Stretches the torso and shoulders
- Opens up the groin and engages the hips
- Strengthens the neck and lengthens the spine
- Strengthens the thighs and calves
- Pay attention to how your position your head and your neck. Keep your neck straight, your head in alignment and look straight ahead
- Engage and tighten your core to support your lower back.
- This is similar to an inversion pose where you head may be below your heart. Take this into consideration if you have low blood pressure. Make sure to use a block to bring up your head to be level or above your heart.
How has your yoga practice changed your life? What initially held you back?