One of the things about hot yoga that freaked me out in the beginning is that you are supposed to look at yourself in the mirror for most of the 90 minute class. Ick. Unless I am busy painting my face, or checking my teeth for spinach, staring at myself in a mirror is unsettling. I have never really understood vanity, and it just makes me uncomfortable.
But this is the way things are done there, and I’m trying to think of it simply as a positioning tool. Are my arms even? Are my knees and elbows in line? Is my foot coming up over my head yet? As my practice is progressing, however, I couldn’t help but notice a few other fascinating things. Well, fascinating to me, anyhow.
– My tranquil focussed face actually looks a bit grumpy and bitchy.
– My right shoulder is noticeably higher. This is logical, since my scoliosis bends my middle back to the left, but I didn’t realize it was so pronounced.
– My left leg is thicker than the right, both the thigh and the calf. My right knee is often borked, and I sprained my right ankle quite badly last year, so I spend far more time standing on the left. I’m going to make an effort to stand on the right as much as possible when waiting for elevators, on the subway, etc.
– My arms are far more toned than they were 6 months ago. Neat.
– I am a bit tall for a girl. I’m only 5’7.5”, but when compared to groups of people, I am slightly taller than the rest of the gals. I often forget this.
– My balance is pretty good when I am gazing at any part of the floor, but when I look up at the mirror like we are supposed to, I am suddenly unstable. (It also occurs when I have to look up at the ceiling, to some extent.) Something about the mirror not being a stable visual surface throws off my focus. Weird. Working on this.
– Note to self: you look slimmer when you stand up straight. For goodness sake, stand up straight!
– My knees aren’t screwed on correctly. They are twisted too far inward. To straighten my knees, I must turn my feet out at bit like a duck.
Basically, I forget how weird my body is. I know, everyone’s body is weird – the human body is a tweaky demented creature. Now that I am reminded of this information, perhaps I can gently persuade some parts to even out, get in line, and balance more.