Ardha Chandrasana – half moon

I almost didn’t practice yesterday. I had indigestion and felt stiff and tired. But finally I shoved myself down the stairs to my practice space. I was going to do a few restorative poses and be done. But instead I got out Yoga: The Path to Holistic Healing (B.K.S. Iyengar), and looked up indigestion. Hmm, yeah, I can do that, and that, and that. I wound up doing almost the entire sequence, skipping only a couple of poses in the interests of time. It ended up to be an hour and a half, and was just what I needed. I felt energized, my guts felt better, and I was much less stiff.

The best part might have been Ardha Chandrasana. I’m still doing it against the wall, because my balance hasn’t quite recovered from foot surgery. You just can’t let your mind wander in this pose. You have to pay attention to everything at once. All four corners of the standing foot press down, lift up through the inner line of the leg (often my downfall), make sure your head is even with your body and not tipping down, get that back leg up and straight back, roll the top shoulder and hip back, open up your chest, and extend out everywhere. And all that time you’re breathing into each part of your body. Oh yeah, now go back and correct that inner line of the leg.

Of course we should pay attention in this way to every pose, but in many it’s easy to become complacent or lazy. Supta Padangusthasana, hm hm hmmm, what’ll we have for lunch? Not in half moon.

Once my teacher said “It’s yoga, exaggerate!” That’s what Ardha Chandrasana feels like.