Saturday, December 12, 2009

What's in the Name?

So, why, “eat the yolk?”

The other day, I was standing over the kitchen sink with two hard-boiled eggs and a post-Bikram yoga appetite. The eggs were peeled, cool, and flecked with the right amount of salt. Before I bit into one, the question, “should I eat the yolk?” flickered across my mind.

I’ve forsaken many indulgences in the interest of “being healthy.” It’s no secret that eggs are loaded with cholesterol and have a substantial amount of saturated fat. But if you skip out on the yolk, enjoying only the bouncy white encasement, you also miss the protein and trace amounts of minerals like vitamin A and iron. Not to mention the velvety texture that coats your tongue as the egg slides smoothly down the hatch. And, if you don’t eat it, what do you do with the leftover yolk?

Contemplating the question at the kitchen sink made me think of standing bow-pulling posture, the nemesis of my Bikram practice. The pose requires the perfect balance of kicking and stretching, which must be “equal and simultaneous, 50-50” so that you don’t fall out. There’s a tendency for neophytes to enter the posture cautiously in order to avoid moving like a weeble-wobble or falling completely on the face before the 60 seconds is up.

There’s also a tendency for you to give yourself one hell of a hard time in postures like standing bow. Just a couple of the ideas that dart across my mind: “Keep your stupid knee locked! Why is my leg coming to the side of my head and not on top of it? You’re gonna fall! Why am I so afraid to bring my body down more?”

Of course, if you don’t give it your full 100% effort (or 110%, as Bikram demands), you’ll never get to see yourself with your body parallel, your standing leg firmly rooted into the floor, your spine arching backwards as your arm reaches toward yourself in the mirror. Without a doubt, if you leave the fear behind and go for it, you will fall out, time and time again. But it’s also doubtless that progress will be made, millimeter by millimeter, second by second. There’s always a second set, and there’s always tomorrow’s class.

Knowing this doesn’t keep the fear from grabbing at me and trying to get me under its influence. But I think that fear can be lessened, and I tell myself, “Screw it. Do it.”

To eating the yolk!


lz said...

Hey there! Found your blog through your signature on the forums; I practice Bikram yoga too. I love your blog name and the symbolism behind it! I agree that standing bow is incredibly challenging, a test of physical balance and mental resolve. But yes, if we leave the fear behind, we will go farther with time... thank you for the inspiration and I'll definitely be reading more!

The Yolk said...

Thanks, Lz! Amen to the physical and mental resolve requirement. Like the dialog says, it's 90% mental, right? I will definitely be following your blog, too. It's inspiring to be connected to fellow yogis this way :-)

p.s., I'm a runner, too. Currently, I only run once or twice a week, but I have done more in the past and love it. I find it to be a nice balance to the yoga, although part of me would like to seize on yoga and practice that more often. How do you like doing both?

lz said...

Yay, it's awesome that you're a runner too! I love running, but like you, I'm not running too much at the moment - focusing more on Bikram yoga for the time being. I definitely agree that it is a fantastic balance to the yoga--I find that a regular Bikram yoga practice improves my running endurance and overall aerobic capacity, so the two practices complement each other very well. :)