Half Pigeon and Self-Study

Self-study through experience

New year, new vibes! My intention for 2016 is to share tons of yoga insight and tips with students. January offers a fresh start and new beginnings, usually starting with reflection on the past. Thus, the theme this week is svadhyaya, or self-study, which we’ll explore through Half-Pigeon.

Self-knowledge cannot be possessed objectively because we are dynamic beings. Only through experience (whether on the yoga mat or in life), do we develop a deep basis of individual awareness. Half-pigeon can certainly be an experience. It stretches the hips and taps into the first two chakras, where we hold emotional energy about our relationships, both with ourselves and others. The challenge is to notice and breathe through whatever emotions and thoughts arise.
Personally, half pigeon brings up a lot of anxiety and impatience. My mind begins to move rapidly, and I immediately want to get out of it. Sitting through my emotional roller coaster in half-pigeon forces me to change the pattern of rushing through things that make me uncomfortable. Through self-study in half-pigeon, I also practice self-acceptance: My hips are very tight, and I modify with props instead of pushing myself into a deep expression.
What is your experience in half-pigeon? Does it reflect patterns that you’ve noticed about yourself off the mat?

About Half-Pigeon

Sanskrit

Ardha Kapotasana “ardha” = half “Kapota” = pigeon “asana” = seat or posture

Uses:

Increases range of motion in the hips

Externally in the front leg

Internally (psoas) in the back leg

Prepares body for backbends

Unlocks lower two energy chakras

Root and sacral chakras (relationships with ourselves and others)

Uncovers fears, traumas and anxieties

Alignment

“Floint” the front toes (point the foot, but flex the toes back)

Use arms for support to organize the lower body

Rotate back leg inward

Refinement

Walk hands forward

Parallel front shin to front of mat

Modifications

Avoid any pain in your front knee

Elevate your hips with a block or blanket

Angle your front shin, by bringing your front foot in

If there’s still pain in your front knee, do reclined figure four

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