Thursday, October 27, 2011

How I gained the ability to wear shorts.

Modesty can be a wonderful thing  it creates people like Audrey Hepburn. It also creates a wardrobe inappropriate for Chicago summers. I have always had an odd relationship to modesty. In bars made exclusively of dark corners I feel perfectly comfortable in little corset-style tops and fishnets. However, you get me on a sunny street and I become some pre-suffragette trying to make amends with the fact that it is okay for the modern girl to show a little ankle. Or, at least, that was the case until one remarkable event. 

Getting me into short shorts for Bikram was a slow process. My first class was spent in knit pants and two layers of shirts. The first shirt was a tight tank top, so that if I had to flip upside down, my belly would not hang out (I was familiar with downward dog and prepared should it rear its ugly head). The second was a loosely fitting T-shirt so that, heaven forbid, no one could see the curvature of my body. I should mention that this behavior was not driven by some teenage angsty body image issue. More than anything, I just didn't want to assault the person next to me with unwanted fleshy bits. 

Within a month the outfit morphed into a tank top and loose running shorts (with built in undie-guards so the person behind me didn't have to see anything in balancing stick). Over the course of the next 6 months, my belly even made an appearance. Granted, the belly-bearing top had thick padded cups I would shove into it to prevent anyone from being able to see that I, like most other people, have nipples. 

This steady pace might have gotten me to the blasé attitude I have now within four or five years but a miracle happened. My first year as a yogi, I competed in my first Asana Championship. While always an enriching experience, this one was special. Rather than performing the 3 minute routine on a stage in a park, where your audience passes by at a distance of 20-30 feet, or in an auditorium, where your audience is only people interested in the sport, this competition was in a Whole Foods. Yes, right in the grocery store. 

Tucked safely between the check-out lanes and the entrance we lifted our legs, shoved our chests up to the sky (which incidentally, was not a sky, but the second floor and escalator. One competitor, when folded in half in guillotine, saw, just past her own rear, two young boys staring at her from said escalator). To ensure that no competitor would leave this day with lingering body-shame, the warm-up area was placed on a second level, past the floral department. Yes, to get on stage we had to walk past hoards of urbanite mothers and their gaping children in what amounted to our undergarments. Many a young child was educated that day on the glories of anatomy as competitor after competitor wove through the floral department, past the check-out lanes, passing the natural soaps, to the stage  clad in spandex leotards and banana hammocks.*


Aura's Guillotine

Now that my hoo-hoo has been pointed at unsuspecting shoppers of organic produce I find bearing a little ankle, even knee, quite unremarkable. And thus, you can now find me purchasing flimsy bra-tops and clingy short shorts for my practice. Problem solved. I would recommend this as a sure fire cure to any person willing to try.**



* I would like to make special note that I think this was actually a genius move. Being in such an open venue ensured a lot of visitors who would not have been watching otherwise. It also put us in close proximity to food, which was a huge bonus the second we were off stage. 

** The author of this blog will not be held responsible for any person being forcibly evicted from Whole Foods for indecent exposure.

13 comments:

  1. If I remember correctly from previous posts, does this mean that you bared it all AND whipped out your cock in the middle of Whole Foods? That's just awesome. It's gettin' real in the Whole Foods check-out line....

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  2. @ Dancing J: BWAHAHHA! That will NEVER get old. *Seriously. NEVER.* This was actually the prior competition (I've done two). At the time I bared it all at Whole Foods I had yet to gain the strength it takes to whip out a cock in front of an audience.

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  3. Thanks, Ashley! Stubble has become a regular part of my practice. I even overheard a girl once say she kept a little on her ankles to improve her grip in standing bow. :)

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  4. I keep a little leg stubble because I'm lazy and wear pants most of the time.

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  5. Hahaha! Kate, LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, thank you :)

    The story, the stubble, thedancingj's comment!

    Hmmm, I've never thought about stubble enhancing the grip... now that I think about it, my Standing Bow was very slippery today and I just epilated my legs yesterday, hmmmmm...

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  6. My stubble doesn't even qualify as 'stubble.' I look like Im wearing those 1970's fur topped boots most of the time. Out of necessity, The Boy has acclimated. Simm, I am jealous of your ability to keep up with social norms. ;)

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  7. How very neat that you were able to compete so early in your journey! I guess I keep waiting to see how much I can improve each week (on week 2 of going every day now!). Did you find that your progress happened rather quickly once you entered the 365 in 365 self challenge?

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  8. Congrats, Chealsea! Going everyday is the best way to get progress I know of. Progress is an odd thing, though. So I caution you not to focus too much on the pretty of your poses. I often find myself going 'backwards.' I put that in quotes because it's really progress, but it doesn't always feel like it. Like right now, I can't backbend as far as I could last month. What I think is happening is I am entering into the upper part of my spine, which has always been super stiff for me. It may look and feel worse now, but I can't get a fully curved backward bend without that part of my spine opening up. So, in the long run, this will do me a lot of good. Regarding the 365, I found the most improvement in the 80 consecutive days I started with. After that I would say it was slow and steady -- which wins the race anyway, right? ;)

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  9. I have been practicing for a while now too, and I have found that often times when I am making progress with my alignment, strength etc, that I seem to lose my sense of balance or stamina. When in actuality, it is just learning how to find that balance/stamina again in this new progression of my posture. The best way to find progression in your practice is to not be afraid to fall down and start over again. The ground isn't that far away, you wont break anything :) Congrats on a steady practice! I wish you the best!

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  10. Dalia, I bow down to your superior verbalization skills! Although, I guess, really, this is writing, not verbalizing, it just feels like verbalizing because of the conversational quality to posting (this is proving my point, no?).... I may never get used to this newfangled internet....ANYWHO....What I mean to say is, "Well, said, Lady! Well said! I concur completely! Nail on head and whatnot!"

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  11. Kate, reading your posts first thing in the morning makes the whole day better! It took me a little while to feel comfortable in my shorts and bra in a very bright room filled with people. Even harder to get accustomed to was after class: trying to gracefully peel off the sweaty shorts and bra while attempting to make conversation with strangers-turned-friends who also happen to be in various stages of naked, while barely holding onto to complete thoughts through the yoga-brain fog. I also had to get comfortable baring my hairy legs and armpits to a huge wall of mirrors.

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  12. @ Jenn P: HAHA! Yeah, seeing people that comfortable with nakedness can either be comforting or severely freak you out. :) And thanks for the compliment. I hope this doesn't mean you are horribly homesick in Colorado, you are going to be such a stellar nutritionist if you can stick with it!

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