This morning I was going through my yoga routine, like I do when it’s the first time since the first week in November that my day hasn’t been filled with family, work, or the flu. (My NaBloPoMo turned into NaBloPoWe, as you may have noticed. Did you get a flu shot this year? You might want to think about it, says everyone in my household except the dog, who enjoyed the extended nap opportunities provided by all the people lying in bed coughing 23 hours a day.)
But I’m feeling better now, so this morning I was going through my regular yoga practice and I was trying to consciously relax my hips. I tend to focus on one thing or another while I practice, but it’s new that I’ve been brave enough to say, “O.K., hips, what exactly are you holding on to?” People say* that the whole pelvic area functions as a sort of psychic junk drawer, and to a certain degree (maybe like 90 degrees) I believe it. Whenever I do deep hip work my back will seize up, causing me to take a week off and rethink my whole plan for becoming an enlightened human being, or at least one who can put both her legs behind her neck**. (My chronically tight hamstrings would also like to chime in here and take some credit, as would my novel for putting me in a chair writing for as many hours a day as possible, and my lungs for reminding me that I smoked for 15 years. I AM A BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW OF DYSFUNCTION.)
*Yoga people say all kinds of fun things!
**Just like Jesus did!
So this morning I was lying on my back doing supta padangusthasana and I was thinking how I needed to soften my groin in front and my glutes underneath, which made me feel sort of wobbly all of a sudden, and my very next thought was, “Wow, I’m going to look stupid while I’m figuring this out.”
To clarify: I practice yoga at home, alone — well, no, Peewee was sitting there plotting how he was going to lay down and take a nap on my yoga mat while I kept inconveniently rolling around on it — and yet there I was, going, “Ha ha, oops! I cannot do this pose, despite having practiced it since 1999,” to no one in particular.
I guess I should be grateful that I became aware of this tendency to worry about looking stupid when no one is around, because who knows how deep it goes? What else do I do or not do because, on a completely unconscious level, I am worried about the misjudgment of nonexistent others? Ostensibly I’m an adult. I should be O.K. with going through the awkward phase of learning (or relearning, or unlearning) to do something, especially when there’s no one there to point and laugh. Except me. I am pointing and laughing at myself, in lieu of society. I have internalized a proxy hater!
It’s times like this when it would be useful to be in therapy again. But instead I have The Internet. You can’t hear me but I just sighed the sigh of a person who realizes she needs more friends.
Here, for the sake of comparison, is a photo of Jack’s desk and a photo of my desk. Now guess which one of us should actually be responsible for paying the bills and buying the groceries.
That’s right, the person whose desk is in the bottom photo. Thank you. Thank you for finding a good excuse to get out of being on the jury duty of messy desk judgment! FYI the plate of eggs in this photo was only there temporarily, and yes, I do have a cooking utensil in my pencil cup.