The Standing Backbend Pose, also known as Half-moon or Ardha Chandrasana in Bikram, is my love/hate pose. I love the benefits, but it can be difficult to hold! Here's how I do it:

  1. With my feet firmly planted into the ground, I raise my arms and lace my fingers together, index pointing up. I let my head fall back towards the ground.

  2. I lift my chest up out of the waist and tuck my tail bone in. This protects your spine. Don’t forget to squeeze those glutes and thighs to protect your back as well! Slowly lower down, be gentle and go only as far as you can.

  3. My heart "looks up" towards the sky as I continue to take deep breaths. Breathing helps me go further into the pose. After good practice, you should be able to see the back wall behind you.

Tip: Your exhales should lower you into the posture, focusing on your breath is key!

The first time I ever did this pose, I was so nauseous and dizzy! The whole room was spinning. I felt like fainting, but I made a CHOICE to feel the pains and weather through it. "Pain kills pain" is what I tell myself. Through good guidance from the instructor, I had to respond to this reaction through self-observation, breathing, and perseverance. The body always tells on itself, you just have to listen. So what are the benefits? 

  • It helps relieve tension and emotion

  • Heals the spine and brings it back to its natural elasticity

  • Increases flexibility

  • Opens the chest cavity during breathing

  • Can alleviate neck pain

  • Engages the nervous system

  • Helps with digestion and constipation

YOGAJasmine HuntComment