So a Yogi Walks Into a Bar…

June 01, 2010 By: Michael E. Crowley Category: Mind Body Spirit, Yoga

joshua_Tree_yoga_One_Leg_Downward_Facing_Dog

My wife had a great idea this week.  “Why don’t we start doing yoga together?” she asked me.  She had seen what yoga had done for me lately, and was impressed enough to want to do it herself. I thought it was a great plan, and we started as early as was reasonable on Monday morning.  Then it happened.

“I’m stuck”, my wife said to me.

She had been moving smoothly if a bit stiffly into Plank pose from Full Forward Bend, and had successfully gotten one leg to go back into place.  Her other leg, however, had decided for reasons of its own that it would remain in place supporting my wife’s torso, leaving her hovering above the kitchen floor in what now looked like a runner’s lunge.  “I’m stuck”, she repeated.

This is great, I thought.  My calming manner and innate teaching ability have frozen my wife roughly parallel to the floor.  I began notice things about the floor, like its current state of cleanliness.  I wondered if I would end up sleeping outdoors if she came unstuck in a bad temper.  Then the laughter began to kick in, starting somewhere around my wife’s toes.

It continued working through both of us in huge belly laughs as we realized that:

  1. the mind/body balance is more like a balancing act than a static state;
  2. it is extremely funny to end up stuck in an awkward, halfway sort of asana whose proper name is probably best translated as “take it a bit easier, please”;
  3. the only thing we could do was wait for her other leg to go back when it felt ready.

When it finally did, my wife finished up her Sun Salutation with me and got on with her day.

The laughter my wife and I shared is my favorite kind.  It wasn’t bitter, or cynical, or despairing, or mean.  This kind of laughter is my best friend because it reminds me that no matter how high-minded my aspirations and intentions may be, I am still capable of getting myself (and occasionally others) stuck.  It also helps me relax enough to see the ways of getting unstuck as well. It’s the most enjoyable of the many invitations to mindfulness I get every day.

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