Despite the elation I felt last night after finally getting up into forearm balance, I left the studio in a bit of a slump due to something the teacher said after class. It was such an innocent, meaningless, trying-to-be supportive comment, but it took me from 10 to zero in a matter of seconds.

“This was the first time in years I got up into forearm balance!” I said to her. “Practicing dolphin all this time has really helped me, and I can totally feel the difference form when I first started!”

::beam beam beam::

“That’s awesome!” she said. “I’ve been noticing you experimenting with lifting you feet off the ground while in dolphin.”

::beam beam beam::

She continued. “I just wish we could get those hips of yours to open.”


I went from experiencing a major victory in my yoga practice to being reminded that I still can’t do pigeon. Or baddha konasana without blocks or blankets under my knees. The teacher doesn’t know it, but my hip was one of things holding me back from doing forearm balance. You gotta swing those legs up there somehow, and months ago I was terrified something would snap if I did so. So last night’s inversion was technically a hip-related accomplishment, but the teacher’s little “hope for more” was such a killjoy.

What’s frustrating is that my hips are open. In reality, I’m very flexible in the hip area, and that’s how this whole mess started. I hyperextend; as a result, everything gets loosey goosey and tendons start to move out of place. I don’t NOT do pigeon because I have tight hips; I refrain from the pose because I can do it too well, and the moment my front leg drops down, the tip of my femur jams into the loose cartilage in my hip socket, and there is pain.

I know the teacher meant no harm, and I’m not mad at her in any way. Just observing how sometimes a comment can be so innocuous yet so loaded.