The Mindfulness of Yoga, and Sprained Ankles

This is absurd. Busted toes and now a blue, black, yellow, green and very swollen sprained ankle. Seriously? Seriously? Really? Ridiculous. Oh, I need Cindy’s Zen stuff now. Anything to center—and perhaps balance—this ever aging brain and body.

Okay, so here’s what I can do today–Bound Angle Pose or Baddha Konasana. One of my girlfriend bffs says these yoga poses have names that sound like STDs. Trikonasana, anyone? Hey, I live in the South. India meets North Carolina. It has the makings of a good movie.

So Bound Angle Pose is actually a pose I like, a lot, because I have hips that will haunt me when I’m old. I am sure of it. I used to work as a house host at the Biltmore House. And yes, before you ask, it was fun. And yes, before you ask, I got to go in all the rooms–all 250 of them. Anyway, every older person that came to the house had to use the elevator (original) because they’d just had a hip replacement. The house hosts rotate through-out the house all day and everybody gets a turn to run the elevator. I can’t tell you the stories I heard about hip replacements between the first and second floor of Biltmore House and every person said the same thing, “I always had the tightest hips, and then I had hip surgery.”

I am terrified that will be me, because as hard as Cindy tries to get my hips open, they don’t budge. Still, I love BAP and while described as releasing the thigh and groin area, for me…. it works on the hips. Like getting your teeth cleaned, it hurts so good. And, I can lay my ankle to the side and flat, which is required in this pose, so that’s the primary reason for it today.

So, you start in staff pose and no you don’t need a staff–haha. You begin sitting on the floor, legs stretched outward in front of you and your back ramrod straight, with shoulder blades descending down, your buttocks grounded, pressing your thighs to the floor, lengtening your sides and lifting your chest.

Then you bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, holding your toes with your index and middle fingers and your thumbs. I know all this sounds tedious, but the tedium is necessary or you’d just sit there with your legs pulled up and not paying attention. Paying attention is important in yoga because it is what keeps you mindful.

Most of us aren’t mindful. We’re busy. I think that’s why we get busted toes and ankles. We’re so ridculously busy, always telling ourselves we’re going to take a break when…. and then, in some cosmic way (Lord, I sound like Cindy) our own bodies slow us down. Cindy reminds her students, frequently, to be mindful and to accept “what is.” Today, my “what is” is a swollen ankle and blue-black toe, which inhibits me from doing much more than Baddha Konasana. Today, my body is giving me a time out from my busyness, painful as it might be, and honestly, I am quite relieved.