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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tip of the Week: Half Moon Pose

In Half Moon, you stretch one side of your body while contracting and strengthening the other, reaching side to side and then to the back. The ultimate destination is to have only 4 inches distance between the shoulder blade and the hipbone on the side you are bending. This lateral flexion of the spine prepares your body for the back bend that comes next.

   Bikram Yoga SLC student Monroe Hart

  • Gives quick energy and vitality while heating the body up
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves the flexibility of the spine
  • Strengthens every muscle in the body’s core, particularly the abdomen
  • Firms and trims the stomach, buttocks, hips, and thighs
  • Increases flexion and strength of the rectus abdominus, latisimus dorsi, oblique, deltoid, and trapezius muscles
  • Helps to correct bad posture by realigning the spine
  • Promotes proper kidney function
  • Helps cure enlargement of liver and spleen, dyspepsia (indigestion), and constipation.
  • Stretch up first out of the waist as much as possible to open up the intervertebral discs
  • If you find it difficult to keep the palms glued together and the elbows locked, focus on stretching and lengthening, which will automatically force the elbows to straighten and the palms to touch
  • Make sure there is always visible distance (3 to 4 inches) between the chin and the chest in order to keep the chest and airways open, which will make it easier to breathe
  • Focus on STRETCHING your hips to the left rather than bending your body to the right when you initiate the move: using the hips in this manner forces you to stretch the arms and torso harder and harder to the right to keep the balance
  • Exhale as you come down, let gravity help you!
  • Even if you can only come down a couple of inches with correct alignment in the beginning, you are doing better than someone who breaks at the waist and twists the body out of alignment to come down… Remember the goal here is to realign your spine, not to see who can get their arms the closest to the floor!

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