Seriously folks, let’s not talk about the Pigeon. We can talk about Downward Dog or Upward Dog or Warrior One or Warrior Two or the Sun Salutation…but let’s not mention the Pigeon. It’s way too convoluted for a beginning yoga practitioner like me. It stretches muscles you never knew existed. My niece, Jillian, modeling over there on the other side of Planet Earth in Shanghai mentioned the words “The Pigeon” on Facebook when I blithely statused about Doing the Downward Dog. She said, ominously, “Wait ’til you do the Pigeon.”
So, of course, I had to relate this to my new Yoga teacher, Shanel, on the first visit maybe a month ago. She took one look at my jeans (didn’t have a proper pair of yoga sweats) and said, “Maybe not in your jeans.”
The following week, Shanel relented as she approved my new pants. We would try the Pigeon. I can’t tell you how to maneuver your way into that pose yourself. I wouldn’t try it again without a trained professional standing by. But it did result in aches in places you never knew existed. That’s the Power of the Pigeon.
I am thoroughly enjoying yoga lessons. The teacher gets an A+. The student is progressing, well, OK. It feels so good to stretch like a cat and a dog and a cow and a cobra. You connect with the moon and sun and go upwards and downwards and feel yourself loosening all over. There were aches in my left hip after traveling ’round the country. Things felt stagnant. Besides a couple short mountaintop strolls and a run on a treadmill, Kathy’s body has mostly been inactive. It has been vibrating in meditation rather than sweating or stretching or posing.
It was good to get back to Shanel and her Intention Yoga business. She just moved into a new building (yoga folks, I think, call ’em studios). I arrived way too early to discover my teacher not in plain sight.
However, what an opportunity to photograph windows, sky and flowers!
The above photo was taken after our hour-long yoga lesson. Shanel, honestly, let me climb on top of her table to get the photo above a window screen. (Can you tell that Shanel and I have bonded?) Several times during our session, my photographic eye wanted to snap poses. But, alas. I refused to give that voice any credibility while stretching the quads. Pay attention to body placement! Keep feet hip-width apart! Bend your knee! Don’t bend your knee! Breathe in as you move forward and out as you move back. Don’t even think of moving for your camera… (This was not Shanel’s voice. It was my own consciousness, staying present in the practice.)
An hour of yoga with Shanel goes by in two seconds. I kid you not. It feels so good. The achy old hip infused itself with new life within the hour. And–here’s the best part–I was able to stand in Tree Pose without faltering for the first time. Hurray! No falling over standing on one foot. No hesitating. (Well, only a slight amount of shaking; very minimal.) I grew roots that stretched all the way downstairs and…well, that’s another story.
Anyone else do yoga? Do you like it? Or do you have another practice which your body likes? Do share!