Saturday, 17 November 2012

For pretty much all YTT classes, I’m usually on a mat next to Yogi C.  She’s a tall girl.  Not a ridiculously, unusually tall-for-a-woman height, but she has a long torso.  Last night as we folded down onto a bolster to come into a supported child’s pose, C huffed and puffed and moved her bolster further up her body and complained, “I’m too long!”  It may have been the way she pouted as she collapsed onto her bolster, it’s hard to say, but I just lost it.  I don’t normally succumb to giggling fits, but I actually had to bury my head under my arm to muffle my laughter and block out the sound of hers.  It took me a few good minutes to pull myself together.
Apart from my childish behaviour, Friday night YTT was all about hip-opening positions, and we spent a lot of time on Pigeon, Double Pigeon/Box and Cow’s Face.  Every yoga teacher at some point will raise the suggestion that hip-opening positions bring up emotional stuff.  We carry around emotions in our hips apparently.  Sound weird?  Yes, but just go with it.  Next time you go to a yoga class and find yourself in Pigeon, or runner’s lunge/Lizard, or an extended low lunge, and find yourself dwelling on things that upset you or make you really angry, you’ll know what I mean. If a particular emotional blip comes up during Pigeon, you should probably pay attention to it – the hips don’t lie.
I love Pigeon.  I really freakin’ love Pigeon – especially half King Pigeon/Sleeping Pigeon.  I don’t love low lunges, probably because I don’t like a lot of stress in my hamstrings, but Pigeon is great for me because I can stretch my hip-flexors without placing a lot of pressure/weight on my upper thighs.  Some people hate Pigeon or any variation of it because they have tight hips and tight hamstrings.  AND it’s one of the most ‘dangerous’ positions in yoga, ie the most likely cause injury.  Apparently there are some studios that even forbid teachers from instructing Pigeon in class for that very reason.  It’s totally possible to cause a knee injury if you over-do it in Pigeon, particularly if you have poor hip rotation.  But before I started teacher training, I can’t think of a single yoga teacher who approached this pose with caution.  Would I teach Pigeon?  Yes, probably, but I would take a lot more care with it than the majority of teachers who have instructed me over the years.

Double Pigeon/Box is one of the most boring poses ever, and I can think or maybe two teachers who have ever bothered to incorporate it in class.  Meanwhile, I really like Cow Face, but can never recall it being incorporated into class because teachers are so careful with it.  (Maybe I need to go to some more advanced classes?!)  Someone in class asked why Cow Face is called Cow Face.  Because the pose is supposed to be serene like a cow apparently?  I’m not entirely sure about that…

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