Ever try a yoga pose and feel like your body just doesn’t make that shape? Erin Motz (a.k.a. the Bad Yogi) has three ideas to help you get your Flying Pigeon off the ground. (Just try!)
The first time I saw this pose in a magazine, I was amazed. I thought, how is it possible for the human body to suspend itself like this when gravity is working against us?! I was absolutely determined—no, obsessed—with finding a way to make this pose happen in my practice. Call it ego or persistance, but however you name it, it was all about the conquest of this one for me. Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that the moment you actually “get” a difficult pose like this one, do you know what happens? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nothing changes, you won’t feel different, and sparks won’t fly. It’s just another step on the road in this yoga journey. So relax, take it one step at a time, and remember that in time, you CAN learn to do this. Enjoy the process of learning and refining the little things along the way, not just “sticking” the fancy pose. The yoga police won’t come after you if you haven’t mastered it in a certain time frame, I promise!
Standing up, bring your right ankle on top of your left thigh (just above the knee) with the foot flexed and knee bent. Bend the left knee deeply and sit your hips down low as if you were coming into Chair Pose. Keep your right knee bent and the ankle over the left thigh and fold forward, planting your hands firmly on the floor under the shoulders. Lean in to the fingertips and bend the elbows slightly. Bend the left knee deeply and place the right shinbone as high up on the triceps as possible—almost in the armpits. Hook your right foot around the left tricep. Then start to scoot the left foot back and away from your hands an inch at a time until you have enough room to start to extend it up and back. Before you take off, shift most of your weight into your arms and draw your belly in so your back rounds, just like in would in Cat Pose. When your core is engaged you’ll start to feel lighter, which makes it possible to float the left leg up and back and enjoy the ride!
There are a few points where people tend to get stuck when we’re learning this pose. Try the following “fixes” for three common snags that happen along the learning curve.