Art & Om: Half Moon to Chair Pose

Art & Om is our weekly collaborative project with Karma Yoga Denton. We will explore Denton's art scene and also give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to master new yoga poses. We want to encourage you to get out and support the local arts, with a little flexibility. 

Position: Half Moon to Chair Pose
Mural: Mick Burson mural outside Second Hand Sports off McKinney

We are throwing a few things at ya in this week’s Art & Om installment, creating a foundation using some poses from last week and giving you a few transitions to play around with.

Starting in Warrior 2, remember that back foot is parallel to the short side of the mat, we exhale into Side Angle. To move into our Half Moon Pose, begin to let the fingers of the bottom hand make contact with the ground, and walk those finger tips about 6 inches out and a little to the right of the front foot. This is a great pose to use a block in as well, to help bring the ground a little closer to you. Think lightness in the back foot and begin to shift your weight to the front foot. As you extend out through the lifted back heel, try and stack the hips and shoulders on top of each other. Using each exhale to knit in the ribs and engage the core, and each inhale to root down through the heel. A deeper bend in the front knee is a great modification when you don’t have a prop handy, and need the fingertips or hand to make contact with the Earth for more stability.

If you get the wiggles and fall out of the pose, take a breath and give it another try. The journey into the pose is what this practice is all about. Being okay with where you are in the process, and trusting in that process to help you reach your desired results. A pose is also all about the sensation you feel, the stretch you get and the mindfulness created by being present in the posture and being aware of the muscles engaged and alignment of the body.

You can make your way out of Half Moon by stepping back into Warrior 2, or bringing everything in to a forward fold at the top of the mat. From this forward fold, bring the feet hip distance apart, and let the tailbone begin to drop down as the chest and hands lift. Keep the spin long and chest open, as your reach up through the fingers tips, and draw the shoulders down by spiraling the palms in towards each other and hugging the biceps in. To add a little more challenge, keep drawing the tailbone down and shift the knees over the ankles. Weight is in the heels, so maybe take peak at your toes just past the knees and give them a little wiggle. This is a great workout for the inner thighs, quads, and core with a lot of opportunity to add some dynamic movement and create another layer of challenge in the pose.

While you're at it, you should catch up on some other poses!
Warrior 1
Warrior 2
Downward Facing Dog