Half Moon Yoga Pose is also known as “Ardha Chandrasana”. It is a very difficult to execute pose specially for beginners that tests your balance. In this pose, you root down your standing leg and stabilize your one arm while lifting and extending your raised leg and opposite arm.
Half Moon Yoga challenges your leg muscles. It is similar to “Utthita Trikonasana” in full-body extension. Half Moon Pose is recommended on both sides to work on postural imbalance.
By practicing it regularly, one can lengthen their ribcage (In case of tight chest) and also make it more easy for their torso to rotate. It has many other benefits as well. Practicing it strengthens your thighs, ankles, abdomen and buttocks. It opens the chest, shoulders and torso as well as lengthening the spine. Half Moon Pose also effectively stretches groin, hamstrings and calves.
It is important to know the major muscles groups acting during an exercise. In case of Half Moon Yoga, these are the muscles that act to make this pose possible to execute.
Standing Leg Muscles Lengthening
Hamstrings primarily act as hip extensors and knee flexors but while executing Half Moon Pose, the more medial Hamstrings lengthen as abduction occurs.
Adductor Magnus (Ischial Fibers):
The Adductor Magnus not only causes the adduction of the thighs but it’s ischial fibers also cause extension of the hip joint. Hence, it gets lengthened.
Gracilis Half Moon Yoga:
Gracilis is another adductor of the thigh and flexor of the knee that will be lengthened during Half Moon Yoga.
Lifted Leg Muscles Lengthening
Adductor Magnus of the lifted leg also gets lengthened as the leg gets abducted more and more.
Adductor Longus is another adductor of the leg at hip joint that will be lengthened as a result.
This small adductor of the leg also gets stretched during the pose.
As discussed before, Gracilis of the lifted leg also limits the abduction so it’s lengthening is essential.
Another adductor that gets stretched during the pose.
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Lifted Leg Muscles Contracting
Gluteus Medius Half Moon Yoga:
It is the prime abductor of the leg and in the lifted leg, it helps to lift off the leg away from the supporting leg.
Gluteus Minimus also acts as an abductor, so it will be contracted to assist the abduction of the lifted leg.
Gluteus Maximus (upper fibers):