There are many poses that feel uncomfortable for a whole lot of people, pigeon among them. And we always have a choice here, in our leading, and even more important, in how we live our own lives.
We can stick with the idea of the pose, and hope that uncomfortable will become comfortable one day. Or we can change the form, so it arises from our own body rather than from an idea. This creates something dramatically different.
The thing about ideas is they’re static, and like yoga poses, often come from somewhere else – someone else’s body, someone else’s life. Ideas are nouns. But we’re not nouns, we’re verbs. Unless we forget who we are, which puts us in the strange position of verbs trying to be nouns. This can start to feel very rigid and stifling. But whether we see it or not, our reality is we’re in a constant state of becoming, never the same, never static, and certainly never a fixed idea that comes from some distant place.
The experience we’re having of our selves, and of this life, is exactly what we create. Once we see it, we can begin to shape it.
We each have the power to shape our reality, our destiny – right down to the level of our neurology and gene expression – through how we choose to move in our lives. Yoga is a practice for making this choice. So when we practice, it’s useful to practice what we are, creating our form out of who we are. This means we’re not so much learning about fixed ideas of poses, not so much aiming for fixed ideas of what shapes we should be. We’re learning about ourselves. We’re learning to move comfortably through challenge, from wherever we are, to wherever we want to go. This requires that we understand our own shape, and come into harmony with what we have.
Which brings us back to pigeon. Always begin where you’re comfortable, and move softly from here. For most people in pigeon, if it’s your right leg forward, our starting point can be shifting our right hand off to the right, and leaning on it as we ease down, until we’re sitting completely on our right hip. If we’re relaxed enough in the rest of our body that we’re not immobilized, good. This will allow our left knee to go along for the ride, rolling to point more to the left than toward the ground. So now we’ve taken good care of both knees. No excess tension, no immobilization, just staying soft enough that we’re movable, comfortable.
From comfortable, from softly mobilized, we can explore. And from here, the whole universe of who we are, and what shapes we can create, opens to us.
It’s not the pigeon that’s important. It’s how we relate to the pigeon that changes everything.
– by Mike
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.