When I heard that “Bird of Paradise” was the Pose-of-the-Month at Tranquil Spacethis June, I was skeptical. Another bird? I love yoga’s Pigeon and Swan poses – but Bird of Paradise sounded exotic… and challenging.
The Bird of Paradise is a very colorful bird. It’s also an orange flower. In yoga, it’s an advanced standing, bound, balancing pose. Oh my!
On Day 1 of the 21 Day Yoga Challenge, our instructor led us slowly into position.
We began in yoga squat, twisted to one side, placed one arm behind our backs and the other underneath our bodies to grab hands. This bind is just the beginning, but I was already lost. Unable to grab hands, I used a strap to connect my bind.
Next, we were supposed to rise and stand on one leg, while reaching our other leg out into the air… Straight, if possible.
I couldn’t balance, so lowered to the ground and watched others stand around me. A few fellow yogis completed the pose perfectly, which mystified me.
Now, on Day 11 (half way there!!), I’ve grown stronger and more flexible. Yoga’s no walk in the park, but I’m making REAL progress. My Bird of Paradise is proof. My arms connect without the strap now and I can balance on one leg easily. It’s far from “perfect,” but perfect is not the point.
11 days completed; 10 to go. Yoga has surprised me in its difficulty and its comfort. Every day, I push myself and sweat profusely. There are moments I hate it… Yet at the end of every class, I open my eyes relaxed and refreshed. Perhaps yoga is a slice of paradise and I’m a bird still learning to fly.