We are in the three days, known as Wesak, that honor Buddha’s birthday. This year the Wesak full moon fell in Scorpio, a powerful symbol for one who transformed life to embody compassionate enlightenment. Buddha, literally meaning ‘one who is awake,’ denotes anyone arriving at supreme compassion and wisdom, transcending desire and suffering. “Oh, if only we could,” we murmur. But no matter how much caffeine, or driven desire spins each moment, that totality of wakefulness eludes.
Despite understanding that the yearn to be different, that what, and who I am creates my unhappiness, I continue to wish life different than what is. While appreciating all that most moments offer, there is a twisty angst for it to be better. Great and wise sages through the ages advised that wanting something other than what-is, creates our pain, and our enslavement. But how to shift? How to grow? How to transform? Isn’t that wishing life to be different, enlightened even?
Holding the polarity in one of my favorite Yoga poses, Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon, I ask this imponderable question, looking to the physical for a satisfaction of knowing. If I can feel how to hold four oppositions, creating a firm and contented center, then perhaps I shall begin to hold the oppositions of Buddha’s path. While my chest revolves to open upward, I question the heart, “How do I remain happy just as I am, yet not lose the desire to grow, to be awake?”
Perhaps if I were fully awake, I would be only with the moment of opening into Half Moon, knowing that all else will evolve from its centering joy. Even two seconds from now is too far in the future. Perhaps I dis-honor the glory in this moment by moving beyond it, or out of it, when it was present and here for only me, only now. A jewel-centered, birth-moment of ahhhhhh.
Asana/Pose: Ardha Chandrasana, of course. When you can, do it with the full moon as consort. Face the power and the beauty of a moon that evolves and changes, yet is forever and immutably ‘herself.’ Take the pose by rooting your R leg into the dark earth, L leg extends back, parallel to earth as you shift up and out to open over R foot. Spread both arms, touching down with the R fingers, and 180 degrees up with the L. If ready to advance, rotate drishti/focus, and chest, up to an open sky.
Health Notes: Ardha Chandrasana works from the ground up, physically strengthening legs, and spine, as it metaphysically beckons the heart chakra to open.
Ayurvedic Notes: With spring bloom, many suffer from allergies, especially those with more Kapha Dosha. Doing poses that open lungs and chest, such as Half Moon, Bow, Cobra, Upward Facing Dog, and Wheel help clear lungs, and move the Kapha lodged in the lungs back to the stomach, where it can be eliminated. Making the diet lighter as days lengthen is helpful, especially when deleting heavier oils, and mucus producing dairy. It is a surprising fact that much asthma is largely a Kapha issue, due to poor digestion. Pollen can be a secondary contributing factor.
Astrology Notes: The combination of both physical exertion and beauty inherent in Half Moon Pose are a repository of Venus energy, ruler of Taurus. Taurus likes knowing its roots are firmly embedded before opening out. This balancing between stillness, read stuck, and movement, is a training ground for many Taureans. Their energy can become so firmly embedded that venturing out is too long delayed. You cannot rush or push, only persuade the Bull.