Move to Meditate Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 8

Half Moon Flow

40 min - Practice


Flow through Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutations, as well as shoulder and heart opening postures leading to Half Moon pose. As we ease into meditation, we may notice the cyclic nature of our lives, challenges, and thoughts. You will feel quiet and connected.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block


Read Full Transcript

Welcome back. I'm really looking forward to sharing this flow with you. We'll be moving through some phases of Half Moon, connecting with the rhythms and the cycles of the planet. Let's get started. So you'll go ahead and come into Child's Pose. Bringing the big toes to touch, the knees apart, reaching the hips to the heels. It's an active Child's Pose, sometimes called Adho Mukha Virasana or Downward-Facing Hero. Arms reached up above the head, taking a few breaths here, letting the day slip away. Coming into a Moon Salutation, Chandra Namaskar. As you inhale, lifting up to your hands and knees, come into Cow Pose. Really draw the heart forward. And on your exhale, tuck the toes, lifting the hips up and back into Down Dog. As you inhale, lifting high up on the balls of the feet, exhale, pressing the heels to the mat. Let's do that two more times. Exhaling heels up. Exhaling heels down. One more. And on this breath in, dropping to the knees back into Cow, draw the heart forward. Exhaling back into Child's Pose or Downward-Facing Hero. Inhale, roll up so you're standing on your knees, raising your arms up over your head. And as you exhale, lean back gently. Dental Backbend. Lift into the middle. And exhale, sitting your hips down onto your heels. Inhale, raise the arms. Exhale, back into Child's Pose. Inhaling into Cow. And exhale into Down Dog. Take a few big breaths in this Downward-Facing Dog, spreading from the pinky finger to the thumb. See that you're lifting up from the inner rest to the inner shoulder, wrapping the outer armpits towards your heart. Bring the sitting bones to the heels as you press the heels towards the mat. Feel the quads lifting and the navel drawing up to the heart. And the head is relaxed, jaw relaxed.

Last breath. And then as you breathe in, you'll reach that right leg up. And place your right knee right below your right hip. We're gonna turn into a side plank on the knee. So spin your shin away, tuck your right toes, and lift your left arm. Side plank on the knee. Nice big breath. Maybe reaching the left arm overhead. You can keep your hand on the mat or you could place a block underneath your right hand. Now let's bring that left arm back up. And as you next inhale, you'll connect with this outer hip and lift the left leg. Coming into Half Moon on the knee. See that you're bringing your tailbone towards your heel. Take a big breath. And exhale, release. Left hand to the mat. Tuck those toes, left toes. Lift your right knee in and lift your right leg up and back. Step between the hands for low lunge with the right foot. Big breath in. And dropping your left knee to the mat. Inhale, rise. Catch your thumbs so one thumb grabs the other one. You'll exhale, pull the thumbs apart and lean back. Inhale into center. Right hand to the right knee. Perhaps you'd like a blanket for your left knee. So let's go ahead and set that up. You can reach for your blanket. Placing it right under that left knee. Right hand back on the right knee. Left hand reaches for that left foot. Coming into this variation of Ajnaasana or a low lunge. I like to bring the tailbone down towards the back of the knee. Lifting the skin of the pubic plate up. Bringing the heel towards the hip and bringing the hips forward. See if you can lift your heart. Take a big breath. And on this next breath out, releasing the left foot. Both hands to the mat. Draw the right leg back into a half split. As you inhale, it lifts halfway up. Exhale, heart to knee. Inhale, heart halfway up. Exhale, heart to knee. Keep squeezing that right heel back to the right sitting bone. Small bend in the right knee. This is the last one. Inhale and exhale. Bring the hands back up to lunge.

Tuck your left toes and step the right foot to meet the left. As you inhale, lifting high up on the balls of the feet. Exhale, pressing the heels to the mat. Inhale, sweep the left leg up into a single legged down dog. And then place that left knee right below your left hip. And you'll spin around into side plank on the knee. Right arm comes up. Let's take a moment looking up at the right hand. And you could reach the right arm towards the front of your mat. Breathing into the muscles on the side of the body. And then let's inhale that right arm back up. Connecting with this structure of the outer hip. Inhale, lifting the right leg. Half moon on the knee. One more breath. And release. Right toes tucked. Right hand to the mat. Hover your left knee into your chest. And lift the left leg up and back. And as you inhale, you'll step up into a low lunge. Left foot between the hands. And bring the right knee down. Inhale, arms lifted. Other thumb in front here. As you exhale, pull the thumbs apart and lean back. Coming back to center. You've already got your blanket under your knee. So convenient. Left hand on the knee for stability. Right hand reaches for the right ankle. Pull your hips back slightly so you can refine your alignment. Tailbone towards the back of the knee. Skin in the pubic plate lifts. Bring the right heel towards the hip. And then you can bring your hips forward. For three breaths. Heart lifting. And two. And this is the last one. Release that right foot. Bring both hands to the mat. And you'll draw this left leg back into a half split. As you inhale, the heart lifts. Exhale, heart to knee. Inhale, heart lifting. Exhale, heart to knee. This is our last one. Keep squeezing that left heel bone down and back to the left sitting bone. Big breath in. And exhale. And this time, you'll bring your left knee right next to your right knee. Coming into your heart melting pose. The arms will walk up the mat. Melting the heart down. And you might find that it's your forehead or your chin or possibly your chest that's resting on the earth. For three. And two. From here, slide all the way onto the forearms. Toes tuck. And let's squeeze the forearms towards the feet. Really lift the legs. It's like you're squeezing the front side of the body into the back body. The back body to the ceiling. As you inhale, push with your toes so your shoulders travel past your elbows. Exhaling back for two. And one. And lowering all the way onto the belly. We'll take an intense shoulder opener. It's actually called intense shoulder stretch. Bringing your left arm out to the side. It can be in this T shape. You can put a small bend in the elbow. You can bring the arm down. So just play around with it until you find that vector of stretch that's right for you. Right hand under the right shoulder. Bring the right shoulder onto the body first. And then roll over to the left side. And for this variation, you step your right foot as high up as possible. And reach your right arm forward. The pinky finger just hovering off the floor. Breathing. Filling up this diaphragmatic area. Where the ribs, the psoas, and the diaphragm all meet. For two. And release. Rolling right over to the other side. Bring the right arm out. You can have a little bend in it. Left shoulder comes onto the body and then you'll roll yourself over. Step the left foot up as high as you can towards your right side. And then reach the left arm around the ear.

Through three. And two. Really reaching through the left pinky finger. Exhale, roll back to the belly. Tuck your toes. Take a moment. Integrate. And then I invite you to press right up into plank. So the knees will lift. The navel and belly will lift. And we'll push right on up. And back into down dog. Let's inhale and exhale. And as you next breathe in, lift your right leg up. And exhale, right knee to the mat, right below the hip. Let's spin around into side plank again. Left arm lifts. You're welcome to stay right here. Or you could come into the half moon variation. Or as you exhale, catch the ankle. Then take a breath in. Pull the foot away. Tailbone towards the knee. And as you exhale, looking over the left shoulder. Nice breath. Inhale, center. Exhale, release. Right leg lifts up and back on the breath in. Exhale, right knee, right tricep. Inhale, right leg up and back. Exhale, right knee, left tricep. Inhale, right leg up and back. And exhale into lunge. Knee to mat. Left knee to mat. Raising your arms up over your head. Take a nice breath. And a little back bend. Inhaling, center. And you have the opportunity to come back into this half Hanumanasana or possibly a full Hanumanasana. I'm going to recruit my block for full Hanuman today. So if you'd like to join me, you're welcome to stop right here in the half or you can begin to creepy crawl your front foot forward. And I love using the block under my thigh like a little kickstand, pylon. I'm not sure what the right analogy is here, but give it a try and tell me what you think. From here, the arms would lift. So Hanumanasana is like a beautiful flying back bending leap. See that you're drawing the hips together, lifting the heart. Exhale and maybe lean back a little bit. Let's take another big breath. And on this breath in, we'll come back to center, bringing the hands to the mat, removing our block friend and placing it to the side and gently drawing that right leg back. You'll bring your right foot all the way to the back of the mat, lifting your left knee. Take an inhale. And as you exhale, that left leg comes up. One nice big breath in. Exhale, left knee to mat. We're spinning around to the second side. Right arm comes up. You're welcome to stop right here where you could pop up into the half moon variation. Or as you exhale, reach for the right ankle. Inhale, pull the foot away, tailbone to the back of the knee, set the pose up. As you exhale, look over the right shoulder. Last big breath. And release. Right toes to the mat, right hand to the mat. Hover your left knee in. Exhale, left leg up and back. Breathing in. Exhale, left knee, left tricep. Inhale, leg lifts up and back. Exhale, left knee, right tricep. Inhale, leg up and back. And exhale, left foot between the hands, drop the right knee. Come to standing on your knees. Nice breath in. A little back bend. And back into center. You're welcome to take the half variation of hanumanasana or splits. Or we can explore full again with our block friend here. So the front foot will creepy crawl forward. The block will go right in the center of the hamstring. I like to keep the back toes tucked so I can really draw my hips together and then lift my pelvis up and out of my legs and my spine up and out of my hips. It's a very active, very structured, compacted posture. Arms lifted. And as you exhale, you might lean back a little bit. Let's take another big breath. And inhale to center. Bringing the hands down. And begin to come up and out. Place the block to the side. Left knee meets the right knee this time. And you're welcome to come into a heart melting pose. Or you can bring your forearms onto the mat and come into dolphin pose. And you might stay here. Or you're welcome to join me for our imbalance. And we would bring that right leg up and maybe take a little hop to see how it is today. Maybe try the left side. Possibly making the catch. Alright, or not. And from this place, let's all come down onto our bellies. Stacking the palms and resting the center of the brow on the backs of the hands. Take a moment to integrate the phases of half moon pose. It's a nice place to come into some back bending. If you'd like to join me, we'll come into Dhanurasana or floor bow. Bend your knees and reach for the outer ankles. Remember that this is a bow. So that point where you notch the arrow in the bow is the pubic bone. Can you bring the tailbone down into the pubic bone so you get nice and long for the low back. And as you breathe in, you'll pull the feet away. Lifting your heart. And as you exhale, lift the legs. You're welcome to stay right here. Or if you'd like to explore Parsva Dhanurasana or side bow, then on your inhale, we'll roll over to the right. And on the exhale, tailbone to heels, draw the feet away, looking up and over the left shoulder. Inhaling back to center. Exhale to lift the legs. Inhaling over to the left. Exhale, draw the feet away, tailbone to the knees, looking over the right shoulder. Inhaling center. Exhale. And inhale, release.

Back the other hand on top, integrating the posture in Prana Shavasana for a few moments. Just bring the hands under the shoulders and press up into Plank Pose. And exhale into Down Dog. On your inhale, you'll lift that right leg. And exhale, step the right foot between the hands. Ground the left foot. Inhaling all the way up into Warrior II. Exhale, come into the pose. Inhale, straighten the front leg, arms lifted. Exhale, Warrior II. A Reverse Warrior, slide the left hand up the left hip. And as you inhale, lift both sides of the ribs. Exhale, leaning back just a little bit. Inhale to center. Coming into Half Moon, nice to grab the block. Begin to draw that left foot up. You can place the block right along your shoulder. And as you inhale, lift your left leg. Perhaps lift the left arm. You're welcome to stay right here, or if you'd like to, on your exhale, you'll grab your ankle. Drawing the foot away, keeping the heel in line with the hip, maybe looking over the left shoulder. Inhale, center. And this transition, I really like it. We're gonna go slow. Exhale to the earth, placing the top of the left foot on the mat, and then slowly sitting down. So our Tush is on that inside of our left heel. And our right foot is crossed over the outside of the left knee. Take the right hand with your, take the right knee with your left hand. Inhale, elongate your spine. Exhale, soft twist over the right shoulder. Let's do that again. Inhale, heart lifts. Exhale, twist. And one more. Looking out that left eye, so even the eyes are part of the nervous system. See that the eye, they're peering out your left eye. Inhaling to center. Front leg, right leg is gonna sweep back, and you'll turn over your hips and come into your pigeon. I like to teach pigeon with quite an angle in the left shin. As you inhale, you'll stand up in your pigeon, lifting your arms. And as you exhale, pigeon back. Inhale, center. And now coming into that nice, soft, I call this the floppy pigeon. And we'll take a few breaths right here. Last breath. Soft in a little bit. And as you inhale, begin to come up and out of the pose. Hands under shoulders. Let's tuck the right toes and we'll lift the left leg up and back. And just like magic, you're on the second side. Inhale, look forward. And as you breathe out, you'll step that left foot between the hands. Grounding your right foot.

Inhale, arc up and open into warrior two. Exhale to come into the posture. Front leg straightens one time. Inhale, arms up. Exhale warrior two. Then turning your right hand around and up your hip. And you'll gently press into the hip. As you inhale, lift both sides of your ribs. Exhale, leaning back. Inhale, back to center. Let's start our transition into half moon. Grab the block. It goes right under the shoulder, probably around 18 inches up. You'll begin to draw your right leg up. As you breathe in, lifting it all the way up. Possibly lifting the right arm. You're welcome to stay right here or you can. Exhale and reach for the right ankle. Drawing the foot away. Take a breath. Possibly turning over the right shoulder. And let's inhale, release. And take a slow twisty exhale, starting to turn towards the earth. Bringing the top of the right foot to the mat behind the left. Sliding the right shin and the right knee down and coming to sit or tush on the inside of that right heel. Half Lord of the fishes, Ardhamatsyandrasana. Right hand takes the left knee. Inhale, nice long spine. Exhale, turn over the left shoulder. Inhale, long spine. Exhale, turn. Inhale, even your eyes turning, peering out your right eye. And let's inhale back to center. And take this front leg, your left one, and swing it back. Coming into Pigeon. So roll over your hips. Set your Pigeon up. The right shin at a nice angle. As you inhale, you'll stand up in Pigeon, compacting your hips. Exhale, lean back. Inhale into the middle. And coming into your floppy Pigeon. Forearms, hands, belly to the mat. Take three more breaths. And using this next inhale to come up. Inhale, this time we'll roll over to the right side and swing the left leg around. You could scoot your blanket off the mat, but keep it handy. Get your black ready. And roll all the way onto your back. The block, low setting or medium, goes under the pelvis, closer to the tailbone side of the sacrum than the lumbar. From here, keep your hands close to the block so you can get it right in the right spot for you. Lifting your hips up, elongating your tailbone towards the backs of the knees, then bringing the soles of the feet together and the knees out. So it's Barakonasana, bound angle, with a little lift in the hip. And it should feel like you catch your tailbone and elongate your low back. If you're feeling like a pinch or a shortening in the back, try moving the block towards your knees. Once you've got that set up, you can bring your arms into this box angle shape. And simply breathe for a few moments, integrating the effects of the practice. With this next breath in, you're towing your feet apart a bit and bringing your leg back to neutral. And you could roll the knees in for a moment, counter that rotation in your hips, and then it's time to come up for some seated meditation. So sliding the block out from underneath you, bring the knees in, and make your way up to seated, however feels good for you. Would you like to sit on a block or a blanket today, or do you have something else that you'd like to sit on? Go ahead and grab that. Settling into your seat for a few moments of quiet meditation. Let's just begin by closing the eyes and observing where the body and the breath and the mind are at in this moment and observing the present moment experience that you're having.

Bringing your awareness to the breath now, focusing on the breath in, the short pause and the breath out, short pause and the breath in, noticing all four parts of the breath, noticing the cyclical nature of the breath. Bringing your awareness to the practice, noticing how each pose began. There was a middle as we hung out in it and then it ended and we transformed it into another one. There might have been some poses that you liked and some that you didn't, but ultimately all the poses began and ended in your presence, observing their cyclical nature. Just ask yourself, is any pose ever gone or is it transformed? Bringing your attention to the cyclical nature of the seasons, the planets, the moon in particular, today's flow as inspired by the moon and how it goes through phases. There's a full and a new, there's a dark and a middle and are they ever gone or are they transformed? And with this understanding, this knowledge, the cyclical nature of things and how nothing is ever gained or lost in this universe, it's just transformed. You can take your attention to your present moment experience and observe the beginning, the middle and the end of a day. Watching as one thought is transformed into the next one. If you look a little deeper, you can connect with the beginning, the middle and the end of an emotion and the rise and rise. And then finally observing whatever is beginning, arising, anticipating in your present moment experience, that sounds or sensation, smell.

Observe yourself as the observer and the presence, the awareness in which all forms begin and end. The awareness in which all thoughts come and go and all emotions rise and fall. Releasing all the effort that you're making and resting in this effortless awareness. From this spacious place, slowly open your eyes, holding the gaze and stillness. Try not to look around or move so you cultivate this pause in yourself. When your nervous system feels integrated with the room, you can move forward from this place. Thank you for sharing your practice. It's such an honor.


Christel B
1 person likes this.
Enjoyed all the half moon variations with you consistent cueing.
M Angela C
1 person likes this.
Thank you for this season of practices!  I loved the use of the block in splits pose - I felt a lot more space with this variation and more at ease with the pose - more a sense of experiencing  the pose  than reaching for the “shape.”   I also wanted to express my appreciation of your cueing . I also am grateful for  the meditations  which  complement each practice. 🙏 
thank you! my daughter joined in halfway through and we both had a lovely practice, ending in a really peaceful sit. loved the block to support hanumanasa btw - thx for the tip!

Diane C
1 person likes this.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Diane Thank you! I'm so happy you enjoyed it.
Shawn Mother/daughter yoga?! How fun! Yes, the block variation is pretty great, and accessible. Thanks for being here. 
Dear M Angela, thank you for your kind words. You expressed so perfectly what I also experience in block Hanumanasana, a real sense of arriving in the pose. It's an honor to share yoga with you!
1 person likes this.
Christel So many half moons... 🌙  Thank you for being here. 
Catherine R
I really loved this practice. It was just what I needed this morning!❤️❤️❤️
Catherine YAY! Nothing like a the moon to remind us that it all comes in phases...
Be well 🌙
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