I am not sure how this connection came to be, but the only way for me to balance in the yoga pose of Half Moon is to visualize my son standing at the far end of the studio. Sometimes, he is in his tennis whites like he was in middle and high school. Sometimes, he is in a suit, like he is now in his new job. Somehow, “seeing” him enables me to maintain my footing in the pose.
Seeing my son has always seemed to ground me. He is 23 years old and has now lived away in Atlanta for the past five and a half years -- four in college and one and a half in his new job as an analyst at an investment bank. These days, I only get to see him for brief stints – but those short times seem to set me right, even when nothing is wrong.
I find Half Moon to be one of the most challenging yoga poses, and I have spent months and months trying to perfect it. I am still not there yet. I have to make every effort to ground myself in order to balance and keep the pose. It involves tilting the body forward on one leg, lifting the other so that it is parallel to the ground. Hips and heart are open so they face the side with arms wide open as well – one to the floor and one to the sky. Most difficult of all is shifting my vision upward. It is almost like taking the shape of a plane, tilted completely sideways. Energy is supposed to spark in every direction, and only one foot serves as grounding.
In order to help me raise my vision while in the pose, my instructor told me to look at a far point in the studio. This helps me look to the side that my body is facing, rather than down to the floor, although I am still not at the point where I can look to the hand raised to the ceiling. The most amazing thing, though, is that when I looked to that distant point, an image of my son appeared in my mind. I automatically relaxed, feeling that sense of grounding. I became still, and a strong current of energy flowed down my standing leg. I balanced!
So, now I call my son and say, “I saw you this morning! Today, you were in your grey suit with your briefcase over your shoulder.” He takes this in stride, knowing his mother as he does. “Oh yeah?” he says, and goes on with whatever other topic he wants to discuss.
Most recently, I got to see him when I helped him move, just from one apartment to another. On the early evening flight home, I looked out the plane’s window and saw the half moon. The sight made me think of him and, even though I was up in the air, the ground did not feel so far away.