Bird of Paradise ( Svarga-dvijāsana) is a pretty complex pose. You have to fold yourself in half, bind, stand on one leg and then miraculously lift yourself up so you are standing on one leg. The pose requires flexibility, experience and strength. There is a point for me when I am entering the pose where I hit a wall. I’m folded in half and bound and I’m stuck. I feel I will never move from this spot, ever.
What lives in this moment? Self doubt.
It happens every time. I am immobilized by self doubt. What’s possible here? Absolutely nothing. So I rest here and wrestle with my mind for a few moments. I taste stuckness, I savor ‘no I can’t’, ‘this is impossible’.
And then I take the leap. Of course there is no leaping here, that really would be impossible. But I take the leap of faith. I press into the foot of my standing leg and I lift off, rising like the phoenix from the ashes of doubt. This is a great moment of faith-belief in my body and trusting that anything is possible, even though it doesn’t feel like it.
There is a slow and powerful rising, a settling into being upright in the world and then a beautiful unfolding as the bound leg extends into the full expression of the pose. There is a beautiful feeling of grounded exhilaration here.
Sometimes it’s easier to identify your stuckness in a yoga pose than it is to identify your stuckness off the mat. Take a moment to be courageous and curious and ask yourself where you are stuck. Let yourself savor the taste of this doubt, meet the fear, feel the lack of movement. Tap into the lack of possibility here. Just be stuck.
And then take the leap.