Monday, July 25, 2011

Just Enough Slack

I saw this cartoon in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting for it to make an online appearance so I could share it with you :-)
From a July New Yorker

Ain't that just the way it is? (And isn't this cartoon so Bikram?) OK, OK, I suppose I can grab my toes and get the back of my knees on the floor, but I will simply not get my forehead to the toes in this lifetime. I appreciate my body but also recognize its limits.

One of the things I like about this cartoon is the look of, well, distress on the woman's face. I totally relate to her. My mind is oriented toward success and overcoming obstacles. When I sense that they are extremely far-off or likely impossible to overcome, I get a little sad. And scared. And maybe even a little pissed off.

I guess the important thing to remember is that the point is not that we overcome the obstacle. It's like having a giant ball of yarn bouncing around behind you. You can ignore the ball and let it bounce around behind you, knocking people over and getting in your way, or you can take up the yarn and work at it, slowly, gently. You know you're never going to disentangle the whole thing, but it's enough that you work, piece by piece, until gradually you have just enough slack that you can do what you need to do.


Sonja said...

I just wanted to say that I recognize what you are talking about! I get very frustrated when I see my teacher in standing forward bend with her arms bend, hands on the floor, knees straight... I can only barely touch the floor with my fingertips.

But I couldn't do that a couple of months ago! Sometimes you forget how much progress you have made and just focus on the imperfections of your practice.

I like your analogy of the yarn, it really sticks in my head. I will keep it in mind whenever I'm in standing forward bend, thank you!

bikramyogachick said...

Love the look on her face! I totally relate to feeling like my legs are suddenly really long and my forehead is so far away. Like you, not in this lifetime for my body. Legs straight, check, forehead ten miles away.... :)

Catherine said...

This is awful, but my first thought upon seeing this? "I bet she has a great rabbit pose."

Not that I'm obsessed or anything. :P

Yolk E said...

Thanks for popping by, Sonja! I'm glad you liked the yarn analogy. I think I stole it from a meditation teacher or something. Or maybe it was that Bjork song...

You know what's funny? I got short legs and long arms, and I still hate head-to-knee. Catherine, I know what you mean. My rabbit pose will forever be doomed. Monkey arms are a blessing and a curse!

Little Piggy said...

death to the rabbit!! oh poppet, i have an island of japan taking up space when i do forward bends LOL! im slightly embarrassed at having to do padahastasana during posture clinics and you can fit an ottoman between my chest and knees.

but like you said, i'll work on it then we can share islands when you and C visit in TT LOL :p