Thursday, August 6, 2009

How I Love Yoga, Let Me Count the Ways

The stretches. The muscle building. The focus on the present. Yes, it's true, those are all great. But what I love most about yoga with Sherry Han is listening to what she has to say. Some call the truths she often spouts during class "Sherryisms."

This week, one of my favorite Sherryisms was, "You make your body beautiful. Don't let your body control you." And although she was helping someone across the room with his form, I knew she was talking to me. Get some control woman, was what she seemed to be saying. She was referring to the bowls of Cheetos and Doritos I had been eating all week, the late night meals I'd been eating with Alan 10 minutes before bed, the 3 desserts I'd been having after dinner.

But, see, it's not my fault they each keep making their cases so well. The Cheetos and Doritos say, "You need grains and cheese in your diet! Don't forget your dairy!" And the burritos and tacos before bed are all saying with such incredible sass, "You want Alan to gain weight, right? You should encourage him to eat. You should eat too. No, don't eat like that. Make it look good, convince him he should have some too. You don't want to be responsible for him shriveling away do you? Eat! Eat!" And because they have a very good point, I must partake.

You would think the brownies, cookies and ice cream would be screaming the loudest what with all the sugar, but actually they don't say anything. They don't need to. They just sort of sit there on counters or in cupboards looking all ridiculously moist, plump, chewy and creamy good. Desserts that look that good are just asking for it.

Aside from the reminders to take control of my body, the other thing I love about doing yoga with Sherry is her hands. I never thought I could be so in love with someone's hands, but Sherry's have won my heart. During savasana, the "corpse pose" we end each class with, Sherry turns the overhead lights off so that each of us can get comfortable lying on our backs and to sink into complete relaxation. Now, I don't know how other yoga classes typically end because I've only ever done yoga with Sherry. The way Sherry does it is she will come around to every person and give them a mini back massage. Big deal, you might think. My husband/wife rubs my back all the time. But you don't know. You don't know how strong Sherry's hands are and how she seems to know exactly where to push and knead to release the built up tension in your back.

These mini back rubs are so great they are the stuff dreams are made of. Which is actually what I find myself daydreaming about when I am in savasana. Wouldn't it be great to own a pair of her hands? If I had an extra pair, I could maybe have them transplanted in place of Alan's hands, but then again, I don't think he would like having such small, feminine hands and it might be weird that they are so disproportionate from the rest of his body... so maybe I could get Sherry's hands for myself...

This is the part where the daydream starts to get too muddled because if I had her hands on myself, I'd need to get really long, flexible arms too in order to reach my back, so this is usually when I snap out of it and by then class is over and everyone is rolling up their mats.

The one thing that gets me every week though, are the people that roll up their mats before savasana. I mean, they will actually pack up their stuff, put on their jacket and shoes and then leave. Without enjoying savasana and without getting their backs rubbed. And every week, the same thought of asking the same question runs through my mind. If I were to ask, I'd say it quietly because you'd know, of course, that everyone else is thinking the same thing. Excuse me, Sherry, may I have her back rub since she left? But then I realize that that would be greedy and in the anti-yoga spirit, but seriously, how are these people missing out on the best part of class?

Yoga and hiking, these are a few of my favorite things:

Trying to teach Nathalie the scorpion pose.

Denise doing the table pose.

Too tired from walking up this hill to do any poses.

No, really. Don't try to do any poses when you're tired and on the edge of a hill. This is proof that that can be a very bad idea.

17 comments:

[Seyma] said...

you look so sweet and amazing :):) you aroused passion in me to go make Yoga and to go hiking.. it sounds really fantastic :)

by the way, yeah don't eat that much :) they do nothing but harm to people..

Kerree said...

You look like you're having so much fun. After being in bed for a week it looks so tempting to get out in some fresh air and just fool around.

Katherine said...

I haven't taken a yoga class since college, but wow I miss it (even without the benefit of a back rub.)

Razzberry Corner said...

Ok, I'm going to go sign up for a yoga class right now!!!! ~Lynn

Jessie said...

It must be in the air! I have been eating so badly too!

lady elle said...

ohmygoodness, I ended a long (poorness-induced) yoga hiatus a couple of days ago and I feel so wonderful- I can only imagine how much better I'd feel with a back rub to top it off~!! sounds wonnnnderful (;
♥~L

Tri Mommy said...

I love yoga but have never had the pleasure of a mini-back rub during corpse pose... sounds delightful!

Kyrie said...

I admit to having a thing for a certain hands as well!

And I swear, food DOES talk like that xD Thank you for sharing this post.

Shaista said...

Oh it's been so long since I did yoga - it does require discipline to go to a class. Do you ever practise outside by trees and water? Do you ever do Tai Chi?
Thanks for this post, for reminding us to start yoga again :)

I'm Kim, by the way said...

I've never had a yoga instructor finish with back rubs! That might make me actually, you know, go.

Great pictures!

Amanda said...

I'm so bad at Yoga, my balance is horrible.

Cham said...

I love to end with the fetus - or whatever they call it - the one where you pretty much curl up and just stay there. So relaxing for me.

And I swear those snack foods and desserts are ganging up on the blogosphere or something - it's all a conspiracy: if we get fatter and lazier, the more we'll sit in front of our laptops and churn out posts commemorating our once healthy lifestyles of hiking and yoga-ing.

Sobrina Tung said...

Cham, LOL. You're right, I really need to stop listening to my food.

Well, if any of you are ever in San Jose, make sure to come do yoga with me on Wednesdays -- I swear, she is the best!

Angel2b_gillie said...

I love that Sherry-ism..."YOU make your body beautiful!"

That may be my new 'mantra' of sorts for rediscovering my way back to Me! Thank you for this post. :-) very inspiring!

Chloe said...

Ooh, I can totally do the table pose. In fact, I do it every night before I go to bed- it's the only stretch I've ever found that really streeetches all of my muscles to where I can stop aching and hurting and SLEEP. I love it. It's my favorite!

Great pictures, this post made me smile. Your posts always make me smile. I smile while I'm reading them and then Husband wants to know why I'm smiling like a dork at my computer. Hee. :D

Debbie said...

Sobrina, It was great meeting you at the Sherry Han experience. It is really more of an experience than a class, isn't it? And I think asking for others' backrubs is only fair. I think it's anti-yoga to leave before or during savasana. They disturb the quiet, peaceful atmosphere. It's only fair for us to get their massages. And for those who don't know Sherry, she'll even stand on some people's back. But don't we all really go to Sherry Han to see what she's wearing?

Sobrina Tung said...

hahah Debbie, yes, agreed, that is good motivation enough to keep doing yoga forever!

Chloe, I was finally able to do the table pose after so long! It was a hard one for me. Glad it helps you get to sleep :)

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