Friday, April 30, 2010

Posture Discussion Part II - Half-Moon

272 classes in 262 days.

The first of the "warm-up" postures, and it's quite a warm-up. I've come in to class many times feeling stiff, and just doing half-moon usually takes care of it. The posture is divided into three main parts:

This wakes up the spine and sort of informs the body, "Ok, we're going to move the spine around now." It took me a while to get the grip right, and be able to interlock my fingers and get the palms together, but once I did, I really started to feel the benefits from the posture. Keeping my weight on my heels is generally the biggest challenge for me, and it's HARD to do that for 60 seconds.

There is a point about this posture which I always find interesting. Many people that are quite flexible and can go very deep into other postures, can't go very deep in half-moon. And the reverse is true, where I've seen people go nearly horizontal in half-moon, but not have tremendous depth in some other postures.

2)Back Bend:
This usually produces the first groans from students in the class. It's very valuable near the beginning of class, but I also like to practice it after class sometimes, once I'm more warmed up. When I started, I could barely do anything, and now I can at least look at the back wall, and I definitely can feel the stretch in the back. One of the harder parts of this posture is actually keeping my knees locked and feet solidly on the ground. I've managed to fall out of the posture backwards a few times because I couldn't keep my feel on the ground.

3)Hands to Feet:
A wonderful complement to the back bend you've just done. I've come close to locking my knees on this posture recently. I'm still not exactly close to getting my head on my feet, but I can get it on the shins. An important part of the posture is coming out correctly, with arms and head together. I see a lot of people brush this off, but I've noticed it helps the spine a lot if you keep the contact with the arms and head.

After two sets of the above, my spine is ready to go for the rest of class, no matter how stiff I was walking into the room. It also does a lot to warm up the body and get the sweat happening.

Next up...Awkward Pose.


  1. I love this posture. There is nothing like the first back bend and forward bends. When I do the back bend, I am able to see the wall behind and once ( only once) I saw the floor. My Japanese Ham Sandwich has lots of gaps and room for air. Working on it!!

  2. I guess I was wrong about my Japanese Ham Sandwiches. I got to demo it for my class yesterday. Yahoooo :)

  3. How long did it take you to get a significant range of movement in your back bend of Half Moon?

    I have been coming to class for 1+ year and am still almost as straight as a popsicle stick in the back bend. ugh.