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Sometimes Yoga is For the Birds

I live overlooking a beautiful pond normally frequented by dozens of birds. We have ducks, cormorants, osprey, herons, ibis, crows, limpkins, and more. Last week, our landscapers must have been given instructions to do a big cleanup. They spent hours here with their loud, gas-powered leaf blowers. It was cacophonous & it scared all the birds away.

I enjoy our bird community because they are busy and cheerful. I’ve always imagined having the ability to fly would be the ultimate freedom. I love watching them catch fish and preen their feathers. The ducks always make me laugh with their silly antics.

I got the idea that if people can do a rain dance to summon the rain, perhaps I could create a yoga class that would encourage the birds to come home. I realized there are quite a lot of yoga poses named for birds (eagle, partridge, pigeon, crow, crane, rooster, peacock, flamingo, etc). The reason why, according to yoga teacher Richard Rosen, is “Birds are special in Hindu myth. Their ability to fly and enter the realms of heaven makes them ideal messengers of the gods. Hindu gods, unlike Christian angels, are usually wingless, so they often fly through the air on birds. It’s no wonder, then, that many yoga poses are named for these creatures.”

The class this week was fun to teach. Each bird pose was intended as an homage to their grace, skill, and uniqueness. I’ve often wondered what kind of bird I would be if I was one. Maybe in my next life.

Maybe it's starting to work. I've seen a cormorant, some ducks, and a limpkin is screaming loudly from the nearest tree! (Hmm, maybe I should be careful what I wish for?)

I hope you have lots of birds to enjoy wherever you are. Consider honoring them with a few bird asanas. And please pass on a message for me, if you can. Tell the birds my pond is quiet again and they can come back home. We eagerly await their return.


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