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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Curb 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 I had a pedicure - or better yet shaved my legs? Man, this winter may have gone on longer than I had initially thought... Would it be wrong to glance at the woman next to me to see if she has shaved her legs recently?

"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, whereas it used to be that I could only place my forehead on other people's shins.

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 - what's that again? - thing; and I used a number of my favorites to describe the yoga studio smells.

“Smells like a burlap bag of wet taco chips in here, 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 at home.”

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.

34 comments:

Jimmy said...

Brand new, loved it!

Ponita in Real Life said...

My youngest brother is a yogi, Pearl... he has his own studio and has been teaching for years. I've tried it, and my back and hamstrings could quite get used to yoga, but my hands and wrists objected loudly and at great length and so I am destined to standing poses only. Therefore, I have excellent balance on one foot. And the other too.

Sioux said...

Oh, I thought people everywhere smelled like they were keeping a bunch of ferrets at home...So you're saying that I should only smell those delightful odors in particular places?

Thanks for the informative post. I will try to choose my friends with a more discerning nose, and I'll also stay away from yoga classes...

SparkleFarkle said...

I like the smell of burning fritos, which permeates SparkleFarkle air when a particular cat of mine is sweating. Unfortunately, Marshmallow's been turned away from several yoga class registration lines for just that reason.

Have a nice day!

powdergirl said...

Your title made me laugh again : )

Simply Suthern said...

You exaggerate? Really?

I cant take you stories at face value?

Ginny Little said...

Turning down awards? I'm jealous! Actually, I stopped the "outward recognition" thing some time back, so far I can't remember now when. Like all my friends who rope and ride to win buckles and pay $100 entry fee. Wha?

As for smells, well, I love the smell of a barn. Yes, that includes manure, which is very much different than human excrement...but yes, avoid gyms and work out in my acreage instead where pasture and flowers and horses are the primary smell along with my own sweat, which I cannot smell in the wind..until I get inside and then yeah, SHOWER is the first thing on my agenda.

Can you place the palm of your hands behind your feet and still put your head to your knees? That's a good stretch. Or leg up on a horse?

Good read and good writing.
Cheers,
Ginny

bruce said...

good for you...
i am surprised that you do not smell more things with your non-smoking...

Jinksy said...

Surely you don't notice the smell when your mind is on higher things? LOL

lisleman said...

I thought women like the smell of sweat but maybe that is only male sweat. I'm sure is was probably an all women class which I understand. You wouldn't want some guy breaking your concentration or is it conscentration? Maybe you were doing the latter instead of the former.

Oilfield Trash said...

This cracked me up Pearl.

Belle said...

It is great how you can stretch more and more as you take yoga. And imagine forgetting your surroundings! You may end up a Yogi yourself. Glad the smell is gone too. I can't smell much with this nose of mine, which is probably a good thing.

Casey Freeland said...

You can touch your head to your shin? Holy shin!

"Words are my, um - what's that again? - thing" - These little jewels are why I love reading your blog.

Thank you!

Cheers,

Casey

Mother Mayhem said...

I have a VERY sensitive shnoz myself. That's why I refrain from sweating or being around while others are sweating. I'll wait until after they have showered. ;o)

Thanks for dropping by my place. You are welcome any time! Also thanks for reminding me that it's time to shave my legs. There was snow on the ground this morning, so I thought I had more time. EEK.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

We need to be neighbors so that you can drag my ass to yoga. It would be way more funner and I wouldn't play hooky, as I am wont to do.

Susan in the Boonies said...

"The chatter of my monkey mind": that's perfection. In fact, it's what happens when I drag my exhausted self to bed at night, and discover that my brain has suddenly decided to enact DEFCON 4, and re-hash all those stupid things I've done throughout the day, that I just can't undo now.

Stupid monkey mind.

Leenie said...

Yes, but how nice it is to be able to bend down and fish out that lost bowl in the innards of the bottom cupboard. No gasping and getting down on the knees and wheezing and staggering to get up. Plus the back pain is GONE. Yoga on, Pearl.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm impressed. Never got to the point of not smelling the gym. Then they built a new facility with a brand-new special yoga studio, but I never went to it. Go figure.

HumorSmith said...

You do realize you're getting even funnier each day? I'm going to have to step up my game. Great post Pearl, and the title is wonderful!

becca said...

once again you wow me

Cake Betch said...

I want to do yoga SO BAD. I think it would not only be good for me physically (cause BOY could I use some exercise) but mentally as well. I just never find the time. I'm assuming you do heated yoga?

Brahm (alfred lives here) said...

Great post -- love it!

I am actually going to my first, yes, FIRST, yoga class with my husband next week. We are doing it as our together activity for the summer as a trail run... can't wait!

Laoch of Chicago said...

The unrelenting horror of yoga!

Flea said...

Here I thought women who did yoga weren't supposed to shave their legs. Huh. Learn something new every day.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Wait: it took THREE YEARS to stop smelling the fritos? I've been mentally circling around starting yoga, but that scares me quite a bit.

The Elephant's Child said...

I am as supple as a brick so am super envious fo the forehead on shin caper. Yoga may be the answer. Though whilst swimming and (I admit it) perving at the aqua aerobic classes I am appalled at how many of them are in full make-up. In the pool? Does this apply for yoga too? I hope not - would sweat if off, even if I remembered how to apply the damn stuff.

Eva Gallant said...

It doesn't seem to matter what you write about...It's always entertaining!

HermanTurnip said...

I'm a big fan of his as well. He's one of the rare players that truly belongs in the Hall of Fame.

...wait, we are talking about Yogi Berra, right? Oh, *Yoga*! Ack! Sorry 'bout that. My mistake. Please carry on... ;-)

Crystal Pistol said...

Your forehead to other people's shins shocked me into a loud guffaw. I generally avoid the guffaw, as it is not lady-like.

You are funny, Oh Unshaven Child of The Universe.

Pat said...

Yoga on the balcony - alone - for me:)

Gaston Studio said...

Never been able to get into yoga, just don't have the patience for it... and of course, that's the whole purpose or at least a huge part.

However, I'm totally shocked to find out that every word you write isn't swear-on-the-Bible-totally-true!

Maundering mutterer said...

Having read several amusing Yoga posts, I can only conclude that it's a vastly amusing form of exertion. Must give it a try sometime when what remains of my innards are once more secure.

Erin said...

I'm still a way early beginner as far as yoga is concerned, but in my limited experience, all of the ladies (except myself) in the class have shaved their legs and gotten pedicures recently. I still smell the room. And my absolute favorite is when someone farts loudly.

John McElveen said...

Namaste! I'm so proud I can't bend to get anywhere near my own--eumm.. AREA anymore! Saves a lot of strange smells!

Great post!

J