I tried Pinca Mayurasana today for the first time in years. It’s one of my ‘avoidance poses’, ones I am so freaked out by that I never try them. But the past year or two has been a slow process of beginning to understand where the fears come from and how to tiptoe forwards, keeping safe, keeping steady, finding the place of exploration so I can dance proudly on the edge of my comfort zone.
I remember years ago being in a busy class in London. It was a big name teacher who had an assistant. It was the first time I’d heard of Pinca. I couldn’t even get into the start position — when I tried to press the forearms parallel on the ground I rolled onto the outer wrists and it felt quite uncomfortable, as well as massively unstable. So I asked the assistant. And she looked down at me, shrugged and walked off, without saying anything or offering any help, explanation, encouragement… Funny how these experiences which are fleeting and pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things can linger so long and become quite knotty. I am reminded of David Whyte’s words “what seems to be said so suddenly has lived in the body a long, long time”.
Now some years on I understand my body better and I’ve found a bit more scapular mobility and a bit more strength. And today I was having one of those days when I feel more physically capable than I ever imagined. I woke my body up, did some drills, played around on toe tips in pinca set up, lifting one leg, high, high, and bit higher. And then suddenly it felt the most natural thing in the world to give a little oomphy kick and I was up against the wall feeling pretty scared but solid enough. I even stepped away from the wall and had a precarious balance for a moment.
I haven’t built up much body awareness in this pose so I reckon my form was probably quite off and I can feel that I need to build more strength, but this flirtation with the pose felt like a huge step forward. Cathartic almost. It’s not about nailing the pose and suddenly flooding my insta profile with pinca variations in a variety of colourful bikinis and awesome backdrops. It’s just about me trembling a little on my mat, facing up to some fears, letting go of an old narrative.
For today that is enough. More than enough. I am allowed to feel absurdly proud 🙂