Sugarcane Pose (Ardha Chandra Chapasana)

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Sugarcane Pose, Ardha Chandra Chapasana

ardha (half) + chandra (moon) + chap (bow) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Candy Cane Pose, Half Moon Bow Pose

Pose Type: Balancing, Strengthening, Standing

Difficulty: Intermediate

a woman in black yoga clothes doing sugarcane pose

Balance, play and find the sweet side of the practice in Sugarcane Pose.

Sugarcane Pose Fundamentals

If you love playing with fun shapes on the mat, try Sugarcane Pose, a close cousin of the Half Moon Pose.

Sugarcane Pose requires balancing and flexibility, combining standing on one leg with a twist and a fold. 

Perfect for those who want to develop their balance skills while also stretching their quads and back, this asana is a bit challenging but not so much that you can’t attempt it.

The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t succeed – and you’ll still get benefits from trying.

The key to succeeding in this asana is the same as all balancing poses – move slowly and consciously. Use your breath to guide you or, at least, don’t stop breathing! 

The great thing about balancing asanas like Sugarcane Pose is that the intensity actually makes the internal practice much easier. It’s easy to let your thoughts loose in an easy pose, but if an asana is more complex, you’ll naturally be more focused. 

Energetically this asana activates the Sacral and Root chakras, bringing a sense of stability and grounding, both physically and emotionally. It can also boost your creativity and mood.

Sugarcane Pose Benefits

  • Sugarcane Pose strengthens the core, quads, and hamstrings. 
  • Lengthens and opens the hips, shoulders, spine, chest, and quads. 
  • Increases your sense of balance and stability.
  • Boosts focus and self-esteem.
  • The twist helps you work towards a healthier spine and posture.
  • The action of balancing, twisting, and grabbing the leg will help you work on improving your coordination.
an annotated image of a woman in black yoga clothes doing sugarcane pose

How To Do Sugarcane Pose: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

  1. Start in Half Moon Pose. That means you’ll stand on your left leg, and lift the right leg back so it’s parallel to the floor. Then you’ll open your torso to the side and lift the right arm up. The left arm remains on the floor, in front of the left foot.
  2. From there, bend the right knee, and reach the top of the right foot with the right arm behind your back.
  3. The right thigh should remain parallel to the floor. Some like to raise it higher to work more on flexibility, but make sure you have good alignment and a solid foundation first.
  4. Draw your left foot in, close to the back, pushing the foot into the hand to create resistance.
  5. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths, move through Half Moon to a Standing Forward Fold, then move to the other side. 

Tips And Tricks:

  • If you want to be able to hold this balance for some time, you need to enter it slowly. In this way you will gradually build stability – jumping into the pose won’t allow you to build a solid foundation.
  • To avoid losing balance when grabbing the foot, keep the gaze down. You can also bend the standing leg while grabbing the foot, and then extend it. 
  • Push the foot into the hand to improve the stretching sensation in the spine and deepen the backbend. 
  • Open the chest – that’s more important in this pose than grabbing the foot. Avoid bending downward. 
  • Sugarcane Pose is a progression from Half Moon Pose, so it’s best to nail that one first. 

Sugarcane Pose Variation:

Sugarcane Pose Variation: With A Block

If you want to invest in anything for your yoga practice it should be a block. It is an essential prop for making challenging asanas approachable – and the same is true for the Sugarcane pose. 

You can place the block under the right hand to help lift your torso and open your chest.

It will help you keep the knee of the standing leg straight. Finally, it will minimize back pain in this asana. 

Sugarcane Pose Variation: Ardha Chandra Chapasana Prep

This prep pose is easier because you are keeping your neck straight, and looking to the front rather than opening to the side and looking up.

Although the difference seems minimal, it will help a ton with balance and you will avoid neck strain and pain. 

Sugarcane Pose Variation: Half-Moon Pose

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing a half moon pose

Sugarcane Pose is a progression of the Half Moon Pose so it’s best to nail that one first. Half Moon Pose is common in Vinyasa yoga, so you likely already experienced it.

For Half Moon Pose, just perform step one in our guide above. 

We also created a detailed guide on this pose, and you can read it here.  

Precautions & Contraindications:

Common misalignments

Collapsing in the chest. A big part of this asana is the chest alignment. Keep it open just like you would in Half Moon Pose. If grabbing the foot makes your chest round and fall down, focus on the upper body first. 

Locking the knee. Although the knee shouldn’t be bent – you also shouldn’t hyperextend it. Keep a soft bend in the knee to protect the joint and increase the activation in the thigh. 

Injuries and Conditions

Avoid the pose in case of low blood pressure, insomnia, diarrhea, and severe headaches. In case of neck injury, keep your gaze down. 

Related Poses

Half Moon Pose

Revolved Half-Moon Pose 

Warrior III

Preparatory Poses:

Triangle Pose

Extended Side Angle Pose

Tree Pose

Counter Poses:

Standing Forward Bend

Child’s Pose

Downward Facing Dog

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

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Sara lives in Croatia, near the sea, with her dog. She enjoys exploring nature, and making art. She is currently developing a series of children’s/YA stories and comics in her native language, which she feels complements her work and allows her to live her dream life – having yoga, writing, art, and nature in her every day.

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