Day 17 & Day 18

In case you’re new or if you’re an “I don’t notice patterns” kind of person, this is another continuation of December’s Daily Dose of Yoga.

Day 17: Non-Attachment to Results

Tongue-in-cheek edition. I tried writing something for today. I tried writing several somethings for today — somewhere around 900 words of total somethings, in fact. They all sucked. No, really. Sometimes, I wonder about the quality of my writing, but most often I go, “Well, this blog is free and not even for school credit,” and put it up anyway. (Not that I don’t respect my readers, but I do believe the biggest mistake writers or would-be writers make is Not Writing, so I try to err on the side of avoiding that.) But really, no. I wrote; it was not good.

But I’m not sorry I put forth the effort to write today, even if no actual postable piece came of it.

Day 18: Revolved Half Moon

This was a requested pose, and it’s one where I totally understand how it might end up on a list of poses I love to hate, though it’s ceased to be there for me. Additionally, from the dearth of YouTubery explaining the posture, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people are playing, “Let’s not talk about revolved half moon and pretend it didn’t happen.”


[Video from Core Power Yoga via YouTube.]

Folks: If revolved half moon is a pose with which you personally struggle and if I’m not addressing the heart of that struggle here, please feel free to say so and/or ask questions in the comments. I am going 100% on personal experience and guessing here.

For me, the main difficulties of the pose have been these:

  1. Balance.
  2. It is very much a strength pose in the core, the butt, and the standing leg.
  3. Twisting “enough.”
  4. Even when all of the above are working, it feels fucking awkward.

And for me, the solutions I’ve found:

  1. Balance: Start practicing revolved half moon with both hands on blocks. Also, if the space is available, it can be helpful to practice with the standing hip against a wall (so that if you lose your balance while twisting, the wall is there to catch you before you fall). As you become more comfortable with the balance, you can move away from the wall and/or with one hand on a block (or zero hands on blocks).
  2. Strength: It’s important because balance in this pose is to some degree dependent on the stabilizing muscles — core, butt, thighs. But it’s tough because I’m not sure of any other way to strengthen the muscles except hanging out in the pose and building strength. I mean, of course, one could work with other strength poses to build similar muscles, but still, we’re talking about hanging out with the pose (maybe until it burns a little or a lot), building strength. For me, this was a slow progression — on the order of several months of daily practice. It happens, but it does not happen fast.
  3. Twisting: This is never a deep twist for me, let’s put that right up front, no matter how much my muscles are working to make the twist happen. (I think some people expect revolved half moon to look like the mirror image of half moon, which it totally does not for me.) All I can say is, follow your breath: Lengthen the spine on the inhale, release into the twist on the exhale. Again, this is something that only happened for me over many months — and only continues to happen over several breaths in the pose — but I did (and do) eventually feel the release happen.
  4. Awkward: Well, um, yes. Because there’s internal rotation of the standing hip into the raised side of the body — rather than out into the open — I think it’s normal for revolved half moon to feel more constricted than does ardha chandrasana. Additionally, having the standing hip point pointed down is necessarily going to restrict the range of motion in the lifted hip. Which means that virtually all of the twist has to come from the abdomen and chest rather than the pelvis. In short: There are a whole lot of anatomical reasons why revolved half moon might feel awkward, particularly as compared to the more open half moon. There may be nothing to be done except to accept that the awkwardness is the way the pose is supposed to be.
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