I went to hot yoga class with a new instructor. She took us through the steps to get into Pigeon Pose which is really difficult for me, so I do a modified version on my back that stretches and strengthens the same muscles.Pigeon Pose on your back
The yoga teacher said I’m going to tell you what I’ve told all of my other classes this week. Once you get into the position don’t fidget. “It might feel a little bit uncomfortable but don’t fidget your way out of it.” “In your life outside of yoga class you might tend to notice that when things get uncomfortable, you try to fidget your way out of it instead of just experiencing and dealing with it.”
She made it clear that we should not be in pain but we might feel a little discomfort and that’s OK. Just sit in it and really experience it. It was so relevant to me because it’s very easy for me to want to run away from uncomfortable emotions like loss, grief and loneliness. Sometimes I fidget away from these emotions with food. Cupcakes, cookies, real ice cream (not the cheap stuff) makes life seem better for the moment. The sugar rush is a way to wiggle away from the discomfort.
I love how yoga class goes far beyond physical fitness. So for the rest of the Pigeon Pose, even though it was uncomfortable, I was very mindful not to fidget. It brought to my remembrance that the Queen of England is taught from the time she’s a young girl not to fidget. She can sit still for hours. You can teach yourself to be still. So I stayed in the pose. She said “don’t worry, you won’t be in pigeon pose forever, I will call you back out of it.”
So, in keeping with my feelings analogy, just like the pose, no feelings are permanent either, they all change all the time. And after 60 seconds or so of discomfort and not fidgeting we were allowed to get out of the pose. And you know what? I did not die from it. As a matter fact I felt stronger and more aware of my body, and more in control. So, the next time you’re in yoga doing a difficult pose, or in life when you’re feeling an uncomfortable emotion and want to hide or simply wiggle your way out of it. Don’t run from it, allow yourself to experience it, because before you know it you’ll be free to move on and you’ll be stronger because of it.