The Rooster, The Pigeon and Me

Bali….land of the Rooster…drums at dawn, and of course….Yoga* 

Roosters “cock-a-doddle-do” all day & all night, local dogs howl in the moonlight and darkness summons insects &  frogs to come alive across the paddy fields. You don’t need an alarm clock in Bali….the jungle drums and low-pitched singing start at 5.30 every morning and (even with silicone ear-plugs designed to withstand 25 decibels) are guaranteed to rouse you from your slumbers…

I’m an 8 hours a night kinda-girl, and an extremely light & sensitive sleeper, so these weren’t ideal conditions, yet the sounds of nature & Balinese traditions were by no means the greatest challenge of my 200 HR TTC…There was something far bigger that was beating me down…it wasn’t those roosters, those dogs or the dawn-raid wailing and drumming, it wasn’t even the vegetarian diet…it was my hip joints…those inflexible, emotion-bearing, deep-seated burdensome bones of mine.

Although the 200 Hour TTC highlighted my physical strengths, it also emphasised my life-long struggle with inflexibility within  my hip joints. Hours of sitting crossed-leg on a floor after decades of desk-based, office environments really tested my resolve…whilst annoyingly, my fellow students sat effortlessly & calmly. I won’t lie, it was tough. Even as a child, I was the kid in ballet class that could’t do Butterfly poses (Baddha Konasana) or Box Splits on the Beam in my gymnastics classes. If I couldn’t do it then, how the hell could I do it now at the age of 41?… 

The reality is I wasn’t able to Lotus my way to perfection during the course, but I learned to appreciate that with careful targeted exercises & workshop style classes, I may not reach nirvana, but I could continue on my journey towards looser hips & Lotus (Padmasana). I learned that with a bit of discipline, commitment & focus, we can strive towards our goals whether they are yoga-related or life-based. One of my fellow students designed a Hip Opening sequence for me and so Lizard, Pigeon & a combination of themed stretches, passive and facilitated, will become my new friends….My 200 Hour TTC reminded me that it’s so easy to gravitate towards those things that we find effortless, whether it be the Asanas we practice and teach, or conversely, the negative habits that we collect in our everyday lives, and that it’s so easy to avoid rather than confront those things that challenge us.

On and off the mat, there is a journey to be followed and my 200 Hour training is just the start of my journey towards looser hips & Lotus….and more generally within the world of Yoga itself… 


*2nd to India of course!

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