Happy Pigeon on Backbends Day

Easier Poses

  • Downward-facing dog
  • Legs in warrior II, one elbow resting on upper leg of the same side, other arm a 45-degree angle, hand pointed, torso twisted to the direction of the upper arm, looking towards the ceiling, shoulders squared, back not collapsing – Is this side angle pose? I internally say ahhhhhhh in this pose each time. I love this pose. We always leave this pose too soon.


  • In warrior II, I learned to pull the back arm back to square the upper body in a perpendicular setup with the back arm. That’s useful to know I’m set up right.
  • In half monkey, I learned I should inch the heel of my front leg further, and to hold the hips up higher, not close enough to almost sit on my back leg.
  • I learned that the key to pigeon for me is to slide a block under the front, folded leg, so the hips can rest, lowered to the ground. I was a regal pigeon today, compared to last session’s confused mess.

Needs Work

  • In lunges with the back leg and knee down, then the foot goes up when the knee bends and I have to grab that bent knee’s foot, I feel I have resistance for it, because my knee feels pressure, and I’m not sure if my parts are not collapsing. Others grab the ankle, and I manage only with the foot. It’s still disorienting.
  • My critical mind, questioning the quality of my wild thing pose

Special Mention Poses

  • Triangle, but with both arms up and in a 45-degree angle side bend with torso open facing the side wall
  • The supported seated backbend at the start of the class: legs folded inward, back resting on a the thin side of the block put sideways, head resting on a standing block, arms to the side
  • Camel pose, with hands held down on the heels
  • Rockstar pose: two feet on the mat, one arm down in reverse plank, one arm floating, pointing to the back of the room

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