Pigeon pose is a yoga pose that I always wanted to love but couldn’t. I just couldn’t find a place where I could be comfortable in it. I struggled; I couldn’t breath and therefore, I resist it….for years, even though I looked at it longingly from afar. I wanted so badly to be one of those people that experienced profound moments in pigeon pose.
For those of you who are not familiar, pigeon pose is one relating to the hips and their opening. You sit on the floor and stretch on leg in front of you, bending at the knee and the other straight behind. See photo and instruction. It is a stretch for your hips, hip flexors, thighs, psoas muscle, as well as a chest and shoulder opener. They, the experts, also say that we hold much of our emotion in our hips and that this pose in particular, can do wonderful things towards release old, negative emotions and cell memories that are stored there. Cool. I’d like that. But first, I’d need to learn to actually do the pose and feel at least momentarily at ease with it.
One day last fall I decided that if my hips were tight (my right hip in particular), so tight that I knowingly resisted this pose, then that probably means I should do it…..often. And so that’s what I did. I wouldn’t say I’ve done pigeon everyday since then, but I haven’t missed a whole ton of days either. I worked with the props I needed to be able to breath instead of crumble into a spiral of discomfort and frustration. One pillow on the left, two pillows on the right. Since then I’ve also learned that this is a particular pose that you need to hold for a while in order for any release to happen. So when I wanted to fold it all in and be a pigeon no more, I held on, or rather let go and just stayed with it. Today I’m hip to floor on the left and down to one pillow on the right. Still, no open flood gates of emotional release and it’s honestly hard for me to imagine that happening, but it sure would be neat if it did. Maybe in another 6 months. At least now I love me some pigeon.