Poses that parallel life: Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana

As the last days of summer come to a close, I find myself rushing to fit in everything I can before the days start getting shorter, and the sun says goodbye for months. I am torn between having as much fun as possible—days spent surfing on the coast, floating the river, or hiking through the gorge—and working as much as possible to try to stay financially afloat as I make my way through graduate school. In parallel, I find myself wanting to live the good life—eating, drinking, and making merry—at the same time that I feel drawn to spend more time furthering a spiritual existence, living a quieter, more reflective, disciplined existence. It seems like no matter what I am doing, I spend time thinking that I should be doing more of something else.

This week in my classes, I have been working through Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose). It’s a challenging posture, which personally, I have never felt quite at home in. In this posture, I feel much as I do in my life—pulled in all different directions, unsure exactly where to put my full energy. If I engage strongly from shoulders, my legs tend to start to drop; where as if my legs are strong and tall, I can’t quite get the twist I am looking for.  It seems the harder I push, the worse the posture gets.

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When I’m on my mat, I try to reflect on the poses that challenge me, and which I like to come back to, again and again. I think it is a good practice to take a small moment to recognize what we naturally tend towards—maybe it’s the sweetness of supta baddha konsasana, or the intensity of Virabhadrasana III. Maybe our ego is fed when we find our balance in a strong inversion, or maybe our ADD mind resists a nice long savasana.  As in Revolved Half Moon, there are infinite directions and ways to expend your energy. Ironically, I have found my strength in this posture actually comes when I resist pushing, when I let go of trying to push through my arms and legs independently. Instead, the (somewhat) ease comes when I let the prana flow out to each appendage from the core—simultaneously, all limbs are fed. All sides of myself are honored, and instead of feeling forced, I feel lifted and supported. Lastly, I love to tuck into a tight forward fold after, letting myself reconnect, come in close, feeling safe and secure after the vulnerability of the open, twisting revolved half moon.  Now, as summer comes to a close, I think it is time to let my existence forward fold, and come back into myself.  Instead of running myself to the ground by trying to go in all directions, I’m ready to take a minute to reflect on where I really do want to focus my energy.

I’m curious if any of you blog readers have poses that run congruent to where your life is right now—especially my fellow Pavones Yoga Teacher Trainees! Readers please feel free to leave a comment and fill us in with where you’ve been, and where you’re at! And in your next practice, take notice at what you naturally tend to, and let this awareness inform your practice—remember to give yourself the time to balance out.  And as always, remember to breath!

With lots of love,

Kelly

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