The pigeon pose is a deceptively difficult yoga asana, known by some as the king of the hip openers. It is one that I have done on occasion, and only now, since researching a little more, have realised I was getting it entirely wrong and missing the whole point.
I am a self confessed yoga-dabbler. Performing perfectly has not been on my to-do list, I simply wanted to stretch out my body, believing that I would gradually improve and before long, look like the flexible yogis in the photos I was using for instruction.
But being a woman who suffers from extreme curiosity, it was only a matter of time before I realised that my attempts at yoga practice were not going to be of much benefit and worse, could actually be doing more harm than good.
Yoga is a different. You can’t perform it half-heartedly and expect to reap the rewards that are claimed so frequently. Life changing? Holistic? It depends on how seriously you take it.
And yet, it isn’t really so serious. I guess it is better to say, it depends on how aware you are of what you are actually doing. Aerobics, resistance training and many of the other forms of exercise seem to be easier if you disengage your mind, switch off the inner commentary that is screaming that you need a break, and just go through the motions. But not yoga.
It doesn’t really look like a workout from the outside, but anyone who has tried it will know the sheer strength and stamina required to hold even the simplest looking poses. In fact, yoga is far more than a workout. It is multifaceted, and the more conscious you are of the other arms of the discipline, the deeper you will go down the rabbit hole.
The pigeon pose can be intense for many reasons. Of course physically it can be a challenge to open up the hip area, but it is more than that. The pigeon pose shifts energy that is centred in the lower two chakras.
The root and the sacral are both home to many intense feelings and emotions. This is where deep rooted fears connected to safety and belonging are held. The very deepest of worries, surrounding survival can also be found in this energy centre. Intimacy and trust issues from relationships with our parents, family and lovers are also contained in these chakras.
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