Sugarcane pose is an intermediate yoga pose with some great benefits for your balance, stability, and mobility. Here’s how to do it…
Sugarcane Pose (Ardha Chandra Chapasana) – also known as Candy Cane Pose or Half Moon Bow Pose – is a variation of Half Moon Pose that offers a more intense stretch along with a challenge to your balance. This standing balance pose helps to improve core and leg strength, opens the hips and chest, and stretches the shoulders, quadriceps, hips, groin, and hamstrings. Balance poses also help to improve focus and coordination. Incorporating balance poses into your regular yoga practice helps to reduce the risk of injury by strengthening your center and improving your balance – which are important functions to maintain as you age.
When moving into the pose, focus on opening your chest up towards the ceiling, and make sure not to lock the knee of the standing leg.
To make this pose easier if you have trouble balancing, you can rest your lower hand on a block, slightly bend the standing leg, or keep your gaze down while balancing rather than looking up in the pose. You can also practice this pose near a wall for support.
Those with ankle, knee, hip, or lower back injuries should avoid this pose, and if you are pregnant, use caution when performing this pose and skip it if if it doesn’t feel safe.
How to Do Sugarcane Pose:
- Begin in Half Moon Pose, standing on your right leg with the left leg parallel to the floor and the left arm lifted straight up.
- Bend your left knee and release your left arm down to catch hold of the top of your left foot behind your back with your left hand.
- Keep your left thigh roughly parallel to the floor. It’s OK if the thigh rises a bit, but raising the leg is not the primary goal of the pose.
- Draw your left foot toward your body with the left hand, but at the same time press into your hand with your foot. This push-pull action creates a bow shape in the spine, turning the pose into a backbend.
- Hold for one to five breaths before releasing the left foot back into Half Moon position.
- Return the left foot to the floor and try the other side.
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