Yoga is a curious practice because what you hold in your body is reflected in the world. The beauty of yoga is that you can use it to release tension in the areas where you struggle to “let go.” For all of us, it tends to be either fear (hips), stress (shoulders) or being open to others (heart region.) If you want to change one of these areas in your life – and in the world – you can use yoga to help you accomplish your goal.
The western version of Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is one of the best poses for releasing fear and welcoming peace. To practice Pigeon, begin with a gentle hip opener such as Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana.) Sit on the floor and bend your knee to bring your heel as close to your opposite hip as possible. Take three deep breaths on each side. Then transition to all fours or Downward Facing Dog. Bring one knee forward toward your wrist. Lay your leg on the floor so that your ankle is behind your other wrist. Slide your other foot back along the floor. Come up on your fingertips and tuck your chin like a pigeon. Feel the muscles around your hips release. If it feels nice, bend forward and rest your forehead on the ground or on your hands. Breathe deeply and sink into the softness of the earth.
When we release fear and welcome peace in our own bodies and minds, our intentions are reflected in the world around us. May there be peace on Earth. Namaste.
Images: Pigeon Pose from the Color Me Yoga Teddy Bear App availableFREE for iPhones in iTunes. Use it to enter our coloring contest and win prizes! K. Mae Copham in Vail, CO. Photos by Robert Oakley.