Balanc­ing act

Yoga Journal - - PRACTICE WELL -

The word chapa refers to the sug­ar­cane stalk the goddess Lalita uses as her bow. Her ar­rows are flow­ers, and she has a half moon ( ardha chan­dra) in her hair. For this rea­son, my teacher Dou­glas Brooks, PhD, a scholar of Hin­duism and the com­par­a­tive study of re­li­gions, named this pose (which is a vari­a­tion of Ardha Chan­drasana) Ardha Chan­dra Cha­pasana many years ago. The goddess who holds the bow (chapa) rep­re­sents ev­ery emo­tional pos­si­bil­ity—from pleas­ant and agree­able to fierce and for­mi­da­ble. Her in­tri­cacy is not un­like our own com­plex na­ture. Al­though she may seem sweet and de­mure with flower ar­rows and a sug­ar­cane bow, her weapons be­come sharp and deadly when demons need slay­ing. All yo­gis can re­late to this need for in­ner di­chotomy: There are times to be pleas­ant and agree­able, and times to stand with fe­roc­ity and fight for what is right and moral.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.