For the past fourteen years that I have been living and dealing with scoliosis –spinal curvature– I have found that the oddest and yet the most enlightening things happen as a result.
Whenever I find myself standing or sitting for too long, my body has a tell sign that I need to get up and move or sit down and create a sense of relief for the tension that has become built up in my lower back. And it is always my lower back. But on rare occasions, much like like, my body decides to throw a curve ball my way.
I have on several random and unrelated occasions found that while walking my legs, and hips would spasm and slowly give out. Rendering me unable to walk or move, and in one instance, unable to roll out of bed.
The connection between my hips and lower back seem to, for a moment, disconnect communication from one another. Leaving me to hobble to avoid embarrassment or simply lay in agonizing pain while electric volts shoot through my legs, hips and back.
I have discovered that this is what much of my life feels like. Overwhelming, out of my control, feeling painfully never-ending. Some days I just want to stay put in that bed, let the world handle the world for a day without me.
Yet, how does the world, like my body, benefit from my digression? How does the pain go and stay away or the stresses become stories of triumph if I allow the situation or circumstance to consume me?
Truth is, they never would. The world would lose out on all of the magic that only I can bring in my own personal way, as it would feel the weight of your absence and all of the amazing things you’re capable of doing and being.
So what do we do then? When tensions run high, physical strength runs low, right alongside the willingness needed? Well for starters, allow the pain to pass (physical that is, you can push through the emotional pain on your mat)
Once that has passed, slowly and gently make your way on to your mat. It is important that you warm up the muscles before this pose at it goes deeper than poses such as Child’s Pose or Down Dog (which are great poses to interchange and warm up those muscles).
Once you’ve stretched THOROUGHLY come into a Down Dog position. Inhale, and as you exhale swing that right leg to the front of your mat. Slowly lowering your body into this lunging position. Bend the right knee and allow your left leg to slowly lower to floor until it touches your mat.
(If it is hard for you to sit on the floor, use a block beneath your hips)
As you come into the position, slowly lower your upper body until your forehead touches the mat. Extend your arms above your head and breathe.
Welcome to Kapotsana.
Take a moment to feel the tension slowing becoming stretched out of your hips, and leg muscles. (If you’re anything like me this feels like a small mix of heaven and pain but it is satisfying and relieving)
When you are ready, slowly roll yo your right side, and come back into the seated position.
Repeat for the left side as needed.
What I usually get out of this pose is a sense of control. Not over thoughts, or breath, but rather a control over something that has the tendency to slow me down, and leave me stagnant in my physical abilities.
In pigeon I am reminded that I am not defined by my condition, but rather by the choices I make. Choices to allow a small dark moment to grey an entire day or week. Or to allow myself to forget that I am able to achieve and overcome any and everything I set my mind to.
What limitations will you choose to overcome?
I bow to the divine in you as the spirit within me honors the spirit within you. Even in this crazy world.