When I started writing Beyond Asanas, it was going to contain about 100 asanas. After all, I was writing my magnum opus. As the book took shape this number dwindled down to 30.
I chose asanas that I had been practicing for a few years. Ones which I knew and understood. There were, of course, the mundanities to consider. Visual appeal, my ability to execute the posture well, would my research yield interesting information about it?
The Ardha Chandrasana made the cut. I found a connection between this asana and the story of the near-destruction of the universe. When Shiva swallowed the halahala to save the Universe, the poison turned his body blue. Chandra stepped in to help.
Then there’s the story of why the moon waxes and wanes. Lord Ganesha and his temper are responsible for the moon manifesting in its ‘ardha‘ or half stage.
The Ardha Chandrasana is Chapter 5 of my book. To read the stories and the significance in more detail get your copy of the book.
Below are the step-by-step instructions, with images.
1. Start on the right with Trikonasana.
For more on Trikonasana see Chapter 4 in Beyond Asanas.
2. Bend your right knee and reach forward with your right hand. Place it on the floor diagonally opposite the right foot.
Note the extension on the right side of the torso as the outer edge of the left foot stays firmly on the ground.
The right arm and right foot must be diagonal to each other, else balancing is hard.
3. Engage your right arm and leg, so that you can balance and support yourself on them. Slowly lift the leg up until it is parallel to the floor or slightly above hip level.
The key to balance is your gaze. The steadier and more focused your gaze, the better your balance.
Behold! The final posture. The gaze swivels up to the left thumb.
4. To come down, bring your left leg back to the floor in the same way you took it up. You should end in the Trikonasana again.
5. Repeat on the left side.
These beautiful images are done by Farhan Khan of @khan.clicks and David of @deavalin_david_dsouza. The makeup is by Henna of @makeupbyhennaanbaree.
If you have any questions or queries, do leave a comment.
Get your own copy of ‘Beyond Asanas: The Myths and Legends Behind Yogic Postures’ here.