Saturday, June 15, 2013

Feet failure

my expectation of Yoga
Last week I had a yoga lesson for the first time. I went with my friend Jessica because yoga seemed to us a nice way to keep our bodies and sanity into shape. First we had to cancel 2 weeks in a row because of sudden appointments, but finally we managed to both show up eventually.

When you are early, they ask you to enter the yoga room and go lie down on a mat and relax. So this we tentatively did. It felt a little weird, and I really wanted to laugh. Every now and then I glanced to my side to Jessica and it just made me want to burst out laughing even more. However, the room was a quiet and relax zone and soothing music was playing. Laughing was not an option.

The teacher entered after about 10 minutes of me staring awkwardly at the ceiling and wriggling myself in more comfortable positions, and we could all sit up. She announced that today they would focus on feet. Oh dear. I am not a feet person, this was not what I expected. Jessica looked sceptical too. But we were here to try new things, so we went with it.

But boy, did it made me feel awkward. One hour of fidgeting with your feet is 59 minutes too many I can tell you.
"Get your foot close to you and take a good look at it. Look at how the muscles go, where the hard parts are. Now just feel it, acquaintance yourself with your feet". Just feel it, I was feeling myself up. I was scrunching my nose in displeasure as a glared at my feet. "Your feet carry you aaalll day, they do a lot of work for you. They deserve some recognition. Look at your feet and thank them for all the hard work they do". Okay seriously? I have to thought talk to my feet now? I tentatively thought "Thank you for all your work feet, I appreciate it" towards my feet, but my feet responded with a sarcastic bite "No you don't" to which I had to agree that I didn't. I was lying to my feet. An all-time low. I shook my head in shame.

We had to stretch our toes, and then our heels. I obediently did, but right besides me Jessica was squirming and making annoyed noises. Finally the teacher looks her way and asks what is wrong. Poor Jessica got feet cramps! Guess this yoga lesson wasn't going stellar for her either. I couldn't stop it, a giggle escaped from me which I quickly smothered. But not fast enough, I got a raised eyebrow from the teacher.

The feet exercises kept coming. Now we had to spread our toes, and clench them. Now we had to point our big toes forward and the rest back. First lying down, and then sitting. And every single time my feet were in my line of sight, I scowled at them blaming them for this waste of my time.

Now we were going to massage them. A slooow boring ordeal of pressing and rubbing your feet. FEEL them she says, LISTEN to them she says. Lady, my feet are my slaves, they don't need this kind of fawning over. And every-time while we are all concentrated on our footwork, she asks us to track our thoughts. "What are you thinking of right now?".
Well, I wasn't about to tell her what I was thinking off. My inner dialogue was vicious. It went along the lines of "Effing waste of my time, one and a half hours of my life I'm never getting back, this is bullshit, aren't we supposed to stretch in catlike position or something, oh there she goes again with her feet, I can't stand the sight of my own any more! Wish she would shut up for once and do some proper yoga."

And after all this caressing and massaging, and appreciating and loving, the torture came.

That's not how it generally works right? Isn't it the rule that you first break someone or something completely down, to build them back up properly? Well here they lull your feet into a nice content state. They feel all warm fuzzy and loved, and smile brightly at their owners. "Thank you owner, for finally acknowledging all I do for you! I loooove you!"
happy feet
What happens then? The teacher makes us walk around on our tippy toes for a couple of minutes. Okay okay, I can do that no problem. Now walk a couple of minutes on your heels. Oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no. Seriously, OH NO. Try it people? Don't judge, try. It's excruciating. And it didn't end there. Now we all walk on the outer sides of our feet, and then on the inner sides of our feet. Think you are done? NO! Spread your toes and try to walk on the part below your toes. Now claw your feet in little birds feet, and hobble on them for minutes, very long and excruciating minutes. I was murderous. And my feet weren't any happier. The poor things felt deeply betrayed. I do not think they will forgive me any time soon. How can I blame them?
sad feet
Then finally the exercises are over. It was relax time again. "Lie down on your mat, close your eyes and focus inwards on your breathing. Whenever your attention wonders, gently bring your attention back inwards towards your breathing." We lay there for maybe 10-15 minutes? I'm not sure how long. But every time my thoughts wandered to my games. Minecraft, Diablo 3, RPG. Then with a shock compared to cold water in your face in the morning, I realised my thoughts had wandered and dragged my panicked attention back to my breathing. Where I rapidly inhaled and exhaled a couple times in a row as if to catch up.

And besides me, Jessica was fighting her own battle. Every time she felt herself slowly slip into sleep to jerk awake in a spasm to continue the breathing exercise. Suffice to say we were both happy when it was over. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. Man was I glad it was over. We made our great escape and laughed and laughed. 

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