Thursday, April 5, 2012

Respect the Millimeter

If you have done yoga for more than five minutes you have probably found yourself boring people to death with photos of perfect standing bows. If you have done yoga for a year or more you have advanced to boring your friends with poses of nearly identical bows, which you insist are nothing alike, to highlight the mammoth difference a rolled out hip makes. Rolling your eyes, you say, "Can you believe she did that? I mean, sure, her leg locked out, but at what cost? Her spine is a hot mess!"

Your friends' (if you have any non-yogi friends left) glassy eyes roll over yet another picture of a girl in a swimsuit. They regret the days they feigned interest. Now they are in too deep. Subtle hints do no good and they are afraid that just running is no longer an option -- yoga has made you a beast of pure endurance that could hunt them down like a cheetah after a lame wildebeest. A cheetah bearing photos of people in swimsuits. Swimsuit photos not resembling those found in Sports Illustrated Magazine.

The Boy enjoys yet another round of, "Guess What's Wrong With This Pose?"

I would like to draw attention to the photos. We have been so bombarded with Lululemon videos, International Competition videos, Equinox videos and the like that we see near perfection at every turn. It gives the impression that tiger scorpions are a dime a dozen. It can be discouraging to say the least. We forget to to worship, the years of work between seeing your toe creep up over your head in standing bow and a vertical leg with locked out knee. And, brother, there is a lot of sweat betwixt. i would like to give a shout out to all the millimeters in-between. If you haven't mastered bow, well, buddy, you and 50 million other people. That does not mean your progress is worthless. It does not make that millimeter small. I mean, technically it is, but we are talking a whole different scale here. Ask the nano-scientist if a millimeter makes a difference. That's the sort of changes we are pursuing, nanometers. Tiny, incremental changes that can be gained and lost a thousand times before the advancement becomes a part of our consistent pose.

That first time your toe appears is a milestone. So is when you can see the baby toe too. And the heel! Whoo-boy! You are talking sweat-hours worthy of praise! I raise my glass* to each tiny change that I will hold proudly in front of The Boy in the coming years. I know full-well that he has no idea why picture A is a vast improvement from picture B, but I will know that a tiny sliver of my shoulder has disappeared behind my head, like a waning moon it is getting smaller and smaller in the mirror behind my giant head. This process will take a lifetime and every phase is important and hard won.

So, Boy, this is your fair warning: you have years more of standing bow pictures to look at and none of them will look any different to you. I don't care. Those millimeters contain buckets of sweat and you are going to appreciate every one of them with me.

*What? It's kombucha! Okay, so it's beer. Sue me.


  1. Awesome post, Kate, thank you!

    You're right, it's easy to lose perspective when we see so many fantastic poses on photos and around us... Cheers! To all the millimeters between!

    PS: Hope you're having tons of fun right now :)

    1. Thanks, Simm! Sorry I didn't get back sooner, to say Croatia/Bosnia has spotty internet is to say lorraine swiss cheese has a few holes. I had a GREAT time and can't wait to write all about it -- as soon as the jet lag wears off. zzzzzz

      PS Next advanced seminar is in Hawaii! I am seriously considering going. You should too! :D

  2. Hi Kate, good to hear from you! I'm glad you liked it so much... can't wait to read about it :)

    Ooooh, interesting news about Hawaii! I hadn't heard, but I'm already planning the trip in my head :))

    1. Hooray! +1, Simm! Forgive me as I get excited about the prospect of a girlie yoga retreat in Hawaii with you! :)

    2. *LIKE*

      So when is it supposed to be? Cause it's not on the website yet, right? (I assume it's gonna be a while and that's good... my practice has kinda suffered in the last few months.)

    3. You've got plenty of time, they are always in the Spring, just before teacher training starts.

  3. k8,

    i just realized your illustration reflects your missing red stripe. i miss the red! :(


  4. Me too, Jen. I do not, however, miss the white stripe that was the inevitable result of my laziness. It took one person brave enough to admit that she thought my white stripe was just *grey hairs* to make me see it HAD to go.