Love it or hate it, Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana is an awesome pose!
Let's face it, Half Moon Pose is a challenge. It's likely that you have experienced the many frustrations that accompany this posture. You've also probably noticed that many times this pose is presented late in yoga class sequences as it is usually considered a peak pose.
Half Moon is similar in nature to Triangle Pose, although it will test your balance and strength to a much higher degree. Even though this posture is considered difficult, many beginner students will still find it to be a reasonable addition to their practice.
Ardha Chandrasana is the Sanskrit name for this posture. The breakdown for the Sanskrit name is as follows, "Ardha" meaning "Half", "Chandra" meaning "Moon", "Asana" meaning "Pose". "Chandra" is also known to mean "shining" or "glittering" but is most commonly translated as "Moon". Interestingly, the moon has a unique connection to yoga.
One example of the moon's connection to yoga can be found in the term "Hatha Yoga". Hatha Yoga generally refers to the idea of yoga being used as a physical exercise. If the term "Hatha" is broken down into two parts, "ha" means "sun" and "tha" means "moon". Naturally, some disagree and assert that "Hatha" translates to "effort" or "force" and that the sun and moon translation is a common mistake.
Moon or not, Half Moon Pose most certainly offers a wide range of health benefits. Some of these benefits include strengthening the legs, ankles, and core. This pose will also test and improve your balance and open your chest. As a mild inversion, it will also offer many basic inversion benefits.