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Monday, March 29, 2010

Curbing Your Downward-Facing Dog

I was upside down the other day, contemplating my hamstrings and their relationship to the universe.

Yoga is a wonderful exercise, both physically and mentally; and if you’re not focused, the chatter of your monkey mind does its best to interfere.

It’s very hot in here. Very, very hot.

When’s the last time you had a pedicure - or better yet shaved your legs? Would it be wrong to glance at the woman next to me to see if she has shaved her legs?

Oh, come on, Lady (which is what I call myself when I'm disgusted). What’s it to you? Shut up and breathe, O Unshaven Child of the Universe.

Breathe!


I’m a big fan of yoga. Yoga is a series of discoveries. For instance, I can now bend forward and place my forehead on my shins; and my physical discipline has translated to disciplines in other parts of my life.

My newest discovery?

I no longer smell the yoga studio.

For the first several weeks, the smell of many sweating bodies stood out for me each and every time I went.

Amy, my friend, confidante, and yoga mentor, tired, I’m sure, of hearing me talk about it.

Words are my, um, thing; and I used a number of my favorites to describe what the smells reminded me of.

“Smells like a burlap bag of wet taco chips, perhaps buried under a back porch, don’t you think?” I’d whisper.

“You smell that?" I'd chuckle. "Is that more of a Roquefort or a feta smell?”

“Hey there’s a real special kind of smell going on over here,” I’d murmur. “I’m thinking someone’s keeping a large number of ferrets in the same room they’re storing their yoga clothes.”

Amy is too polite to respond to such rude silliness.

Most of my observations, of course, were exaggerated, as is my wont. I enjoy a good exaggeration, after all, and what better time to do it than just prior to a serious commitment to physical and mental exertion?

Just short of three years into it, I am still discovering new aspects of my yoga practice.

Today I’ve realized that I’m no longer noticing particular aspects of my physical surroundings while exercising.

And tomorrow?

Tomorrow never knows.

23 comments:

Ms Sparrow said...

Thanks for a glimpse into a world I will never know. Since neither my joints nor olfactories function anymore, I will never be in a position
(pun intended) to assess the hairiness of my legs or the quality of locker room smells. And, I don't even care!

Jodie Kash said...

Wet cat and cheese.

Teena in Toronto said...

My husband loves yoga. I prefer to be more active ... like putting on my boxing gloves and pounding a punching bag at the gym.

Kabbalah Rookie said...

Oh, so I'm not the only one wondering if it's wrong to check out who else has hairy legs?

Laughed out loud at 'Unshaven Child of the Universe'..

Must find a Yoga class. Darn you for making me want to put my chin on my shins for one last time whilst I still possibly can...

Secretia said...

I detect no odor from my running shoes after 200 miles, so I know what you mean.

Secretia

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You're on the way to nirvana! Shedding all awareness while you focus on the stretch!
(I? I will never get to nirvana since I have the attention span of a small insect.)

sage said...

this has nothing to do with anything, but yesterday my daughter was watching the weather channel (don't ask!) and I overhead that your fair city has had no snow in March. What, is that true? We've had more snow than Minneapolis this March!

powdergirl said...

If someone could come with a way to get the stink out of the Bikram studio, I'd go back to hot yoga.

I never claimed to have the amount of focus it takes to transcend noxious odors.

AND the last class I attended, I was surrounded by big, hairy, sweating guys. They kept grunting, too.

Kr√ęg said...

I'm so good a yoga I can touch my forehead to other people's shins.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

It is definitely a good sign when you don't notice the smell. And when you can put your forehead to your shins! Your post reminds me that I want to pull out my yoga mat and get in some practice.

Jimmy Bastard said...

All's smell that ends smell, I always say.

ellen abbott said...

Oh downward facing dog. My yoga teacher tells me this is a good posture to relax in, breathe and recover from other more strenuous postures. Relax, in downward dog? surely she jests.

mrwriteon said...

What might you not sense tomorrow? Let's speculate. Isn't the quest of true yogic enlightment to be oblivious to all physical externals? That would mean no more reality TV. Yay!

Molly Potter said...

Hey - are you my guilt fairy - I missed yoga tonight....

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I can touch my head to the counter several times before I pass out. Is that the same thing. It brings enlightenment and I find that 'chicks dig scars'.

Sweet Cheeks said...

I know what you mean about becoming desensitized to smells. I don't smell any of the blogs I visit anymore...not even the lemony fresh ones.
=]
xoxoxo

Fragrant Liar said...

I enjoy a good exaggeration too. It's easier on my muscles, though, when I'm warmed up.

darsden said...

Awesome Pearl, can't wait for you to be walking about like that blogging Yogini..(you know that one at that other Yogi site) then ... I will be totally like impressed!

I know that smell...!!! Can't stand...smell like a bunch of smelly kids.. dang did I say that out loud..sorry momma's of the world...

drop and do a backwards bending dog for me Pearl that will make them happy again.

Cloudia said...

I'm a BIG fan of your rude silliness, Pearl!



Aloha from Hawaii!


Comfort Spiral

injaynesworld said...

I've tried and failed at yoga so many times. And it sounds so cool, too. "I do yoga." Pathetically, I do nada. Oh, sure. I walk my dog -- a Chihuahua -- yeah, big deal. And I do ride a horse, but he does all the work. I want to do yoga and meditate and chant and all that cool stuff. But I'm just a big flake. And I'm also afraid that I might smell bad.

Tempo said...

Oh no! another ailment of aging I'm afraid Pearl...loss of smell! Oh you poor, poor thing!
:-)

♥ Braja said...

Mmmmm......yogaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......

Doesn't smell at my place. C'mon over Pearl....:)))

Anonymous said...

Down dog is the best transitional pose. I always thought I was doing it right, but then I saw Leeann Carey’s free yoga video on hands-on adjustments, and it REALLY improved my form. Thought your readers could benefit too: http://planetyoga.com/yoga-blogs/index.php/free-yoga-video-hands-on-adjustments-for-downward-facing-dog/