Hot 26 Pose Breakdown: Half Moon Series

Pose: Half Moon series with Hands to Feet Pose
Sanskrit: Ardha Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana

Half Moon is a favorite pose series in Hot 26 for me. It’s also a wonderful sequence of stretches to do in class, but also first thing when waking up.

Pose Breakdown

The series, which follows Pranayama, goes like this:
Bring your legs together. Scoop your belly in and up. Interlace your fingers above your head, pointer fingers are up. Lock your arms, and keep them against your ears. Take an inhale to lengthen your body.

Start of Half Moon – Photo by David Greedy

On your exhale, lean over the right hip. Fingers should be pointed to the back corner of your space. Front body should be facing the front, with no bend in your legs and no folding over. Go deeper with every exhale, making that crescent moon shape with your body and feeling a strong lateral stretch on the opposite side.

Half Moon – Photo by David Greedy

Inhale back to center and lean over to the left, noticing that one side might feel different than the other.

Half Moon – Photo by David Greedy

Inhale back to center and exhale to lean into a backbend, dropping the head and pushing hips forward to help with the extension of the front body.

Half Moon (backbend) – Photo by David Greedy
Half Moon (backbend) – Photo by David Greedy

Inhale back to center, and fold slowly over your front body with the exhale. Legs can be bent.

Once your hands touch the mat, bend your legs a lot and peddle your feet. Then, set up for Hands to Feet Pose by bringing the palms of your hands under your heels.

Hands to Feet Pose – Photo by David Greedy

In the fullest expression of this pose, elbows should be behind your calves. I can’t get this far, so I’m getting them as close as I can to the back. Inhale, pull on your heels while starting to straighten the legs and shifting weight into your toes. Exhale, bringing the belly in contact with your thighs. Head is heavy, with the crown facing down.

Release your grip, bring your hands together with pointer fingers up. Inhale your arms back up over your head as you stand. Arms down, Mountain pose.

Pose Breakdown

If you don’t ever do a Hot 26 class, challenge yourself to at least try the Half Moon series on your own. Just a few benefits of this series that stick out for me:

  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Strengthens core
  • Strengthens thighs and calves
  • Increases flexibility in the spine
  • Helps trim the waist, hips, butt and thighs

Enjoy this quick tutorial that provides a respectable physiological breakdown of this series.

Return next Monday for the following pose in the Hot 26 sequence: Awkward series.

Note: I’ve been doing Hot 26 for several years. However, like any yoga practice the poses are always a work in progress. The photos in this series will display what I was best able to do at that moment in time. Some poses feel “perfect” in my body but aren’t quite the fullest extension of them in a photo, and vice versa. With that in mind, consider the text just as much – if not more – as the image.

Leave a Reply