kapotasana, pigeon pose
think: dove pose
I've been enjoying the visual relationships between yoga poses and their names. Here, in Kapotasana I see a pigeon's poofed out chest. Too bad its English name, Pigeon, seems to chain it to ordinariness rather than reveal its true nature—elegance—because most of us (in USA at least) associate pigeons with the opposite of loveliness, maybe even with a large, dirty city rodent...
But check that beautiful, simple arc, the compactness of the body with more vajra-like qualities than even Little Thunderbolt pose.
And is not a pigeon also a dove? I am thinking—peace, elegance: Dove Pose.
A dove's calm, ease, flight, and gracefulness—were part of the joy I used to experience during the many recurring flying dreams I had when younger. They were always followed by the waking realization that I (actually?) could not fly. What? I did fly! I know I can do it... No, really I can!
Although I haven't soared effortlessly through dreamscapes in years, I do still experience the same pleasure (and subsequent waking disappointment) of flying dreams. When I was running consistently, I sometimes dreamt I ran marathons in record breaking time without a trace of fatigue.
What I have now are asana dreams where I do poses impeccably, confidently, easily. You should see my perfect Kapotasana! And the other night, I stood up from Urdhva Dhanurasana (backbend/Wheel pose) — dropped back/stood up several times. No problem! Who knew a Wheel could be so joyous and effortless?
At some point in this happy state, I become conscious of lying in bed, still radiant and certain of my abilities. Then slowly, I descend from asana heaven to earth.
These days I'm pleased to report my waking Wheel has some movement—but not enough to propel me upright yet (and officially into Second Series - viz: smiley face here!). While waiting at the gate, I am learning to accept and enjoy exactly where I am in my practice and in life, which may be the ultimate asana. I often marvel at the infinite depth and all encompassing teachings of First Series and of this entire beautiful Dhyana.
And thanks to Aliya Weise, I realize Seventh Series is available to me and all of us every day! (Please see quotes and link below). My wheel of awareness (and karma?) turns from rodents to soaring heights; back to earth and to Seventh Heaven again and again.
I have even come to love pigeons...sort of.
..... we should start calling any selfless act, any act of unconditional love, a posture of seventh series and see what begins to change in our perspective of the world.
The hashtag #seventhseries should characterize any act that has begun to take us beyond the little self we see in the mirror, beyond attachment to our own momentary desires, beyond attachment to the results of our work.
#seventhseries is a commitment to doing good work for good work’s sake.
—Aliya Weise —excerpts from blog post "Deconstructing Seventh Series"