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Why eka pada raja kapotasana pigeon pose?
Pigeon pose provides surrender and offering. It is a hip opener, a forward bend and a back bend wrapped into one. In the preparation pose we are not only opening our hips, we are bowing down, inquiring within, showing humility and invoking reflection. The hips hold many emotions and by breathing into this posture we release. As we release we begin to move into a back bend, opening our hearts and offering our love to the highest. This may be someone or something, greater than the physical. By dedicating our practice we are working toward letting go of ego and being in a state of enlightenment so that we can more fully serve the world as the Jivanmukta – a liberated, living being.
Place the right knee between the hands, slightly out from the right hip. Move toward placing the shin parallel with the front of the mat, flexing the right foot. The back leg reaches straight back. Feel the knees isometrically move towards one another to square the hips. From here sink deeper. On an inhale, open the heart and gaze up. Exhale fold forward, either to the forearms or all the way to the abdomen, with arms outstretched. Stay here for at least 5 breaths.
On an inhale, rise up. Bend the left leg; reach back with the left hand, encouraging the leg to bend deeper. Continue to breathe and keep the torso facing forward. Lift the right arm up and drop it behind the head and clasp the foot. Now both hands are on the foot encouraging it towards the head. Keep breathing. Feel the heart open. Savor the full expression. Who or what are you dedicating this posture to? I dedicate it to world peace.
Lokah Samasta Sukinoh Bhavantu – May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
A consistent yoga practice found me immediately upon moving to New York City. Little did I know that my new solution to a tighter tush was actually going to be an inward journey, bringing me solace, strength, comfort in my own skin and a deeper level of compassion for all beings. Becoming a yoga teacher was a big leap because I was terrified of being in front of a crowd. What I love and what becomes so clear in practicing and teaching yoga is that there is a bigger purpose than how “well” we do it.
We find a connection to spirit and with this deeper connection we overcome fears; we surrender; we find our Truth. Teaching has become a personal practice of service, returning some of the gifts that have been offered to me by my teachers. Joy, beauty and strength already exist within each of us and depending on our life experiences, sometimes they get buried. Yoga practice is simply a conduit to remember this grace.