Thursday, May 12, 2011

yoga toes

we were sitting in washington park when i slipped my foot out of my platform flip flop and spread my toes out, we were both looking at my feet, i said,
hello foot.
don't know why, i just do these things.

you have yoga toes,
she said.

i looked at her not having a clue what she meant.

it took me a long time to get my toes to spread out like that. i heard a teacher once say that your life will change when you can spread your toes.

how will my life change,
i looked askew at them spread out before me.
i wonder how my life will change.

i described to her my daughter, who at eighteen months thought it perfectly normal to carry a ball point pen in her pony tail, that is where i sheathed mine, more often than not. and when said ball point, or crayon, fell to the ground, she would not bend at the waist to retrieve it, she would reach her foot toward it and use her toes.

she is so my child.
i said the first time i saw her do that.

i stopped short of describing my poem prehensile toes, because the story got the point across. i use my toes like fingers.

so today, as i spread my toes out wide on my yoga mat, she had us lift them up into the air. then touch down the pinkie toe only. then add only the big toe. i never knew i could do that, or i knew but it had never been asked of me to do that. so the class let out a collective
when we all discovered simultaneously how easy it is to arch your toes. a bit of childlike wonder. like we'd never known what we could do with our own bodies.

i want my body back,
was my saying before i rejoined the gym. this foot injury has taken its toll but it's time for it to stop. the downward spiral is over. time to build strength and stamina. to get my body back.

so far this week, i've attended three classes and will do a fourth tonight. i'm not sure if you can do too much yoga, but i'm going to do it as much as i can because i feel strong and balanced when i do it. a feeling i need to remind me that my body is mine. it has always been mine.

when one sustains an injury that must be accommodated, it's a bit of a mindfuck. somehow there is a limitation, whether one objects or not. a limitation exists. i do not live by limitation, i live by possibility. for months on end this foot thing had me sidelined and i couldn't figure out why it took such a toll mentally, let alone the physical part.

of course now i see i most likely wouldn't have passed last semester had i not been sidelined. i'm grateful for the time to focus on what needed my attention most. my life swung into this reprioritization that i had no say in. i just went with it. i didn't ask many questions about it, because i had tasks to accomplish. i can be very mulish when presented with a task.

so when my semester ended, and i was still catering to the foot, months later, even now in some ways i still cater to the foot, i am in yoga trying to expand my repertoire.

vinyasa proved nearly undoable for me because it is so foot aggressive. but i breathed through it and took it very slow. i had to alter my pattern and step into downward dog rather than jump. my foot cannot handle it. but this is a concession. i understand. the goal for me is not to blow out my foot, but to progress to a level where the concessions are limited in number because my foot has regained strength and flexibility. i'm tired of limping and gimping around.

so we sat on the bench wrapped in each other's arms, looking at my toes, and i said,
i wonder how my life will change.


Jacque said...

Seems in many ways, it already has. :-)

siouxsiepoet said...

yes it does. :*
thank you jacque.