Sunday, November 24, 2013

Yoga Blunders

Too many times for me to recall a wardrobe malfunction during my own practice.  When teaching yoga, I spend more time demonstrating poses and giving verbal/hands on assistance that I don’t get a full practice.  This is the point, though.  I’m there to lead you.  In most cases, my wardrobe isn’t as much of a problem during teaching because I’m not doing the majority of the poses.  But, it’s a whole new ball game when you’re the practitioner.  I’d like to take this space on the interwebs to share my wardrobe mishaps.  Maybe it will make you feel more human.  Maybe it will make you laugh.  Maybe it will do both.  Maybe you’ll decide to donate some money in order for me to get some new clothes.  Regardless of the outcome, I need to get this off my chest.  No pun intended.  :)
During my teacher training classes, we spend a good portion of time discussing the options when offering an assist to a practitioner.  Sometimes the assist is a verbal cue; oftentimes, in my experiences, this assist is a hands on adjustment.  The end goal is to help the student create some space and relax all the while maintaining great alignment.  Some assists will help the person get into a pose they’d might not be able to do on their own.  Such is the case of my handstand assist blunder.
I’m unsure of my strength when it comes to doing a handstand.  I think that’s what holds me back.  I can do a headstand without any issues…hands is a different story.  During a Wednesday evening class, my trainee group started talking about the art of flying from one pose into the next.  One of the transitions between two poses happens to be handstand.  I usually skip over the preparation pose for handstand – almost pretending that it doesn’t even exist.  We got on the topic of doing a handstand and before I knew it, we started getting into the prep pose.  Great. 
The first trick is to jump the feet off the floor with the knees pulling into the chest.  Ultimately, the hips need to be in line with the shoulders to keep the alignment in the body.  The assist for this hop is to spot and hold the student’s hips above the shoulders as the knees draw into the torso.  Easy assist.  My mental block prohibits my hips from getting high enough; I’d feel comfortable with my teacher helping me the rest of the way.  I planted my hands firmly on my mat shoulder width apart and focused on a spot between my hands, just past my finger tips.  I was ready.  I hopped lightly three times before my teacher caught my hips and guided them up in line with my shoulders.  Wow.  What a light feeling…as my boobs fell out of the top of my shirt.  I immediately dropped to the floor and tucked my fun bags back into my top.  Guess there wasn’t enough spandex to keep those puppies guarded.  Dang. 
Believe it or not, the majority of our class work doesn’t involve us actually doing a lot of yoga.  We spend most of the time in lecture, discussion and observation.  Of course, one goal of the training is to make us comfortable and competent in providing safe yoga instruction.  The yoga school built a few free community classes into the schedule for the trainees to practice their teaching.  Thankfully, if it wasn’t our time to teach we could take the class.  Yay!  I love taking classes.
As I continue to reshape my body, my clothing choices decline.  I don’t always have time to crank out a load of laundry, so my few ‘go-to’ tops might not be readily available.  Such was the case on this fateful Sunday morning.  I found a top with a stretched out shelf bra, but it still fit okay.  The problem with the bra was that it didn’t have any padding.  For the clueless out there, no padding = ‘you must be cold’.  Thankfully, I found two clean cups that normally fit into my running bra and carefully placed them in the top’s shelf bra.  I did a few stretches with no awkward cup shifting.  Perfect. 
At the start of class, I walked to the front of my mat and prepared for a few rounds of Sun Salutations.  Towards the end of the first round, as I walked my feet to the front of my mat in the forward bend, I took a long exhale through my nose and tucked my chin gently towards my chest.  Here, my chin was met by not one, but two cups that had wiggled halfway out of my top and met in the center of my chest.  One false move and those babies would be popping out onto my mat.  Oh.Crap.  Just before I came up to standing, I reached into my top, balled the cups up in my hand and tucked them under my sweatshirt that was on the floor beside me.  I don’t think anyone noticed, but I was aware of my inability to turn off my high beams. 
Sun Salutation
Today I had attended a community class.   This is the last community class I get to take before teaching next week.  Stuck with the same laundry dilemma, I dug through my drawer to find an older sleeveless yoga top.  It’s been a while since I had worn it and I noticed that my torso didn't have as much meat to fill out the arm holes.  Clearly, never learning a lesson, I proudly put the top on and left for class.  I stationed myself in the back corner to be a visual aide for some of the new participants in the back of the class.  The instructor led us through some gentle stretches before we moved on to the Sun Salutations. 
I stepped forward to the front of my mat and took a long exhale.  Inhale, arms up, exhale fold forward.  Inhale, head lifts, exhale walk or hop back to low push up.  Inhale upward dog, boobs out, exhale downward dog.  Breathe for five breaths.  Focus on your left nipple.  HANGING OUT OF YOUR TOO BIG TOP.  WTF.  I adjusted my top and continued on.  With each Sun Salutation, my boobs fell out of my top.  Those upward dogs let my little raisins shine to the heavens.  Dear Lord!  Interestingly enough, this malfunction didn’t disrupt my practice too much.  I incorporated subtle top adjustments to minimize the showing of boobage.  I didn’t throw out the top.  I probably won’t.  Maybe next time I’ll wear another bra underneath; maybe not.  Who knows?
I do know that these three blunders won’t be the last.  Let’s just hope I keep the situation isolated to the top.  I don’t want to imagine how my pants could malfunction.