I struggle with Pigeon Pose. I struggle to stay both physically and mentally calm. While it doesn’t cause any pain in my knee joint, it just gives a general discomfort through my body. I am rarely able to relax my upper body and without fail end up tensing my shoulders.
I am counting down the breaths until my yoga instructor says “on your next inhale, rise up to your hands and exhale Downward Facing Dog.”
I think as soon as I get to that Downward Dog, everything will be better… oh wait, I have to do the other side, shoot. While I know I am receiving so many benefits from the position why does it have to be so uncomfortable? Why does opening my hips and changing their position have to be unpleasant in the moment?
The Link Between Yoga And My Life
As I am knee deep in my yoga training, I find myself reflecting often on yoga and mostly how it intertwines with life off my mat. For me, Pigeon pose is my life -- metaphorically speaking. Through any change in my life, big or small, I am struggling to stay calm (thanks, anxiety). While no change has ever caused me unbearable pain, it always is uncomfortable.
I am always thinking “as soon as I get through this, everything will be better,” and then oh wait, another change comes up, just like the other leg in Pigeon pose comes. And while I know change is good, and it provides me a ton of positive growth in life, and makes me a better person…why does it have to be so hard and unpleasant in the moment?
Accept That It Is What It Is
This brings me to one of the greatest lessons I have learned through yoga so far, a message you often hear, especially in Pigeon pose: Accept what it is. Accept the discomfort, stay active in the posture, and breathe through it. When you are done, you may find yourself enjoying the benefits of such a great stretch through your hips.
All of these great teaching words apply to change in general. Accept the situation for what it is, the good and bad, the discomfort it causes -- and embrace the change, and most importantly…just breathe. This has been an enlightenment in the way I process life, and has made my life better -- and yes, that includes how I practice and feel about the challenges of Pigeon pose.
Is there one yoga pose that you feel reflects YOUR attitude about your practice (and life)? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
By Kate Brunelle – Kate tried yoga for the first time in November and was instantly hooked. She just started on her 200-hr yoga training and would love to share her journey with others.
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