It was Pigeon Pose that did it.
In particular, the pesky King Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, and yes, I had to look that up!) – the full expression of pigeon, arms reaching back over the head to gracefully cradle the back foot which is ever-so-gently touching the back of the head. It’s a beautiful pose to see.
I can’t freaking do it! I can’t even sit with both hipbones square on the ground; my pigeon looks like she’s been loading up on the breadcrumbs and then had a few too many drinks, tipping awkwardly to one side. I call her “chunky drunken pigeon.”
The Powers That Be have gifted me with many attributes, some of which I am profoundly grateful for, and others that I endure with a reluctant affection. I love my large breasts but I do wish I could remove them for certain activities, such as yoga and horseback riding.
But then my bubble butt would just stand out more.
As I approach my own yoga teacher training, I wonder: am I built for yoga? I’m not a young, lithe, boyish sylph of a girl. I’m voluptuous like a 40’s film star, and yoga has made me muscly on top of all that. I’m in my fourth decade of life. (The latter part of it!) And here’s the part that scares me:
I can’t do all the poses
There. I said it. And I wonder if a teacher who can’t demonstrate a pose can really tell students how to do it without showing it? There are poses I rock at. There are some I just can’t do. Does it matter? Would it matter to me if I were taking my own class?
The teacher showing us King Pigeon could do it. So could another girl – young, blonde, and built like a dancer. I watched her, jealous, until she looked over at me and gave me a radiant smile. She was happy, and I was happy for her as I wobbled out of drunken pigeon.
I’ll keep trying, keep practicing. But I can’t change my body type, and I can’t rewind the clock to take away a decade or two. I am who I am as a yogi and as a woman. Yoga keeps me strong and flexible and sane. My love for the art and practice of yoga will shine through, I know.
Maybe I can just bring in a picture of King Pigeon? And if I see any Drunken ones, I’ll smile and understand.
Alexa Maxwell is a writer, teacher, traveler and student of yoga. She is a huge fan of elephant journal and is honored to be part of the herd. You can read more at her blog here , follow her on Twitter @catnipkiss, or wait for her upcoming travel memoir which is a work in progress.