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Half Moon Pro Tips with Zefea Samson

Half Moon Pose

Ardha Chandrasana, also known as Half Moon Pose, provides a unique challenge right at the start of the Hot 26 practice. Each time we begin our practice, we literally have the opportunity to grow into this challenging posture, lengthening our spine as we bend laterally. The space for growth and change in this posture is always expanding, and I have found that a small adjustment or shift in thinking can take Half Moon to a new level of depth and understanding, even for experienced practitioners.

Over the last month, I’ve chosen to share a new Pro Tip each week on the evolation yoga social media channels to help you improve and deepen your Half Moon side bend practice. Each tip speaks to a common issue I have seen students experience in Half Moon Side Bend, and offers a way to improve alignment to address that issue.

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Tip 1: Keep it lateral!

“Chest up, chin up, arms back, upper body back”: these are all instructions that you hear in class to provide corrections and adjustments while in Half Moon pose. However, you must be careful in this posture to not over correct or exaggerate, turning this posture into a backbend. Half Moon side bend is a lateral flexion of the spine. Which means your spine is bending side to side, not backward or forward. While you are working on opening the front side of your body, think about keeping the back of your body tall and long. Everything should be equal distance to the mirror you are smiling in.

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Tip 2: Use your hands!

If you find it hard to get your arms straight and extended, work really hard on pressing your palms together. The different parts of your palms are connected to different strains of muscles in your arms. The more you work your hands, the more you activate and fire up all the different muscles of your arms, even while your arms are bent. Over time, this will help you to make your arms more straight.

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Tip 3: Neck Alignment is Key!

You hear the words “chin up, see your whole throat in the mirror” a lot in class. Many times, student will over correct based on this direction, and the head will start going back. To avoid crunching in your neck, keep your neck long by bringing your chin slightly back in to your throat. You can also try thinking of lengthening the crown of your head up to the ceiling.

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Tip 4: It’s all in the feet!

You are probably used to hearing: ‘bring your feet together, toes and heels touching each other’. Many people wonder why this often seems impossible or painful. The answer has to do with body mechanics and proportions. Our feet are not rectangles, rather triangle shaped, with the front of our feet being wider than the heels. The only way most people can make both toes and heels touch is by sickling at the ankles; jamming ankle bones into each other; bowing knees out; or externally rotating the hips. Allowing a slight space (distance depends per person) between the heels solves this issue for many.

Yoga Education with Evolation Yoga

Follow evolation yoga on instagram and facebook to see new pro tips every week.

Consider training with evolation yoga to enhance your understanding of each asana, while you become certified to teach and share the healing benefits with others!

By Zefea Samson


Gratitude for my Yoga Journey by Larissa Santoro


It was Thanksgiving eve. I watch Instagram stories and posts of my family and friends getting ready for the holiday. My mom sends me a text that she just finished baking her apple pie. I think I can almost smell it when I close my eyes…and my heart aches, just a little bit, that I am not home.

But, I am happy. I am grateful.


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It has been 8 months since I became a certified yoga instructor with Evolation Yoga. Completing my training in beautiful Hawaii, which I didn’t fully realize at the time, was a complete life changing experience for me. I didn’t know what my year would look like. Would I go home and move back to NYC and get another 9-5 agency job? Which let’s be real is more like a 9-7 agency job… would I stay in CT and take a different path? I had no idea what to expect and somehow, here I am…

Back in the yoga bubble, this time at a training in sunny Santa Barbara. I can hear the trainees in teaching clinic in the other room and it’s a surreal feeling to be here, as a teacher.

Eight months lived and I am wiser. I am happier. I am more myself than I’ve ever felt, and sure, there are hard days where I think ‘what am I doing??’ and self-doubt knocks on my door, but I am so grateful to be a part of this community and on this journey.

When you train with Evolation Yoga, you join a family.


We train together. We stay connected. Continuously grow and learn together. We go through the good, the bad, the uncertainties of life together and it is a bond that cannot be shaken.

Eight months post training and I am back in the yoga bubble.

In one week I have made new friends, that I know in my heart will turn into old friends.

I received heart-warming hugs from souls I just met.

I have been welcomed into a fellow Evolation yogi’s home for the holidays. No questions asked.

Evolation Graduates Thanksgiving

I have taught abroad at an Evolation graduate’s studio.  

I have friends and connections all over the world.

I am part of the Evolation family.

I am grateful.


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