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Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I am really, really flexible. Bendy, in fact.

See this picture of me? It was taken in Hawaii last year.


It was basically taken in a place I call my dreams and apparently didn't involve me or any joints. Bones, even.

I am the least physically flexible person I know. In a quest to reach my toes, I am often amazed how ridiculously arthritic and just, well - UNCOMFORTABLE - I look as I try to inch my way anywhere south of my calves.

I have had a lifelong jealousy of people who have the ability to do things like splits and back bends with ease. The kind of people who you might end up sitting next to at the end of your workout at the gym, who manage to wrap their legs around their head while you make a valiant effort to do some half ass stretches.

Ughh, really.

Or that lady in my yoga class who I always manage to stand next to in Bikram. The one who can touch her head to her toes while still looking cute.

There are many things in life which are unfair.

I always felt like I got dealt a short stick. Or, whatever that saying is because as I type this, I realize that that makes absolutely no sense and I am mangling cliches again.

People say, "Oh it comes with practice." Well let me tell you something, sister. Or mister.

I practice. I practice so hard. I bend and stretch and try and hold and push some more and sweat and bend and god, why is this so damn hard?

I just don't seem to be going anywhere.

So, yeah, sometimes it feels like I am not going far. And how it bruises my ego and my vanity to realize that I look far from cute as I aim and shoot and fail.

Gosh, why are my toes still so freaking far away?

Sometimes it hurts me to look at myself in the mirror on these days where I feel like I cannot find that edge - the edge where the "me" in the mirror looks like the "me" that I envision in my head. The one who is not hindered by structural limitations - real or perceived.

Its hard to acknowledge that I well never be a yogi, despite the fact that I can pronounce Sanskrit better than most people in my class will ever be able to. And it feels hard because it feels like I have lost out on my birthright - a chance to bond closer with Indian culture.

Isn't that lame? Oh God! (Shiva, not Jehovah) just don't answer.

Its something that I am coming to terms with. I go to yoga and in my quest to gain some flexibility find myself being the furthest thing from peaceful or quiet in my head. Instead, I focus on weakness and not strength and isn't that maybe being just a little bit hard on myself?

I am not the woman in the picture above. And frankly, that's okay.

So I think I need pack my dreams of ever becoming Gumby away. It ain't happening. I will keep pushing myself, but only if I can do so without punishment.

Because life is not always a competition. And I have to stop competing with this image of the me in my head and the me looking in the mirror.

And when you are trying to be a mother, a wife, a businesswoman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a neighbor or WHATEVER role we try to wrap and bend ourselves into that day, sometimes you find that there is only so far you can bend before you break.

I am trying to be a little kinder to the "me" looking in the mirror. So maybe I should start now.

So I am looking in the mirror and taking an immediate stab at this. Looking pretty good, sister. Like, many not your full age even. Well, yeah - you do have that holiday weight on you, but that shouldn't be too hard to take off. Right? Hmm. Turning to the right. Your hair looks pretty nice and oh what is that? Yes, that is flour in my hair. Yes, my nail polish is chipping.

I start to take inventory of the house. I am nowhere near ready to do my taxes. My office is a mess and no, I am fine, that is not panic. My voice just sounds funny because this happens to people with tight hamstrings. Oh damn, the laundry is still waiting to get into the dryer.

What else? Oh shit, the Christmas tree is still up.








This year I will learn to be bendy. Not the "bendy" that I don't know if I will ever get physically, though I can keep trying. I will leave that to the women in my yoga class or videos or the Cirque de Soleil dancers. I mean that I will learn to be the kind of bendy that gives in to my life without being so darn hard on myself.

We can't all be Gumby.

But we can all learn to bend.



Colleen said...

Reading this almost gave me a panic attack.

Our tree is still up, too. And only half decorated because I STARTED to take it down on Saturday.

Taxes? Laundry? STOP!

Yeah, I suffer from this same malady. While I actually was amazingly phsysically bendy back when I had time to go to yoga 3 times a week, I've never been able to extend that to myself. I'm a harsh competitor. With me.


Colleen said...

Your goal is a noble one, and one all too underacheived in our society. I truley wish you success in it!

Masala Chica said...


I did not mean to give you a panic attack. Sorry sister. If I did that, it would just be another thing to add to my list of weaknesses.

You totally sound like me on the tree front. It's a hot mess right now My problem is that sometimes I put so much on myself that in the end, I just say "screw it" and just let it all come down.

And I am kind of realizing (kind of) that I am awfully hard on myself and a little unforgiving too. And its a big challenge to live up to the expectations of that voice in my head. The skinny, perfect, pretty, smart and just so darn flexible one that I want to tell to take a hike.

BTW, I love cheap wine and cookies. I have discovered a new great wine - its called Dreaming Tree, Crush and they sell it at Costco for 10 bucks. Dave Matthews is working with a vintner to make a new brand of wines and its pretty darn yummy. Would go great with some girl scout tagalongs or something!


webb said...

First, Kiren, take a breath and relax. All that yoga breathing is about relaxation. Forget bendy (at least the physical kind) and think relaxation and stretching. If the bendy is coming, it will come on its own.

And, surely you already know that Dave Matthews has a perfectly wonderful winery going, with very good wines. Sounds like he might be expanding ...? or trying new varieties? Guess I need to schedule a little tasting and find out. Namaste.

Masala Chica said...

Oh Webb - I totally agree. I beat up on myself way too much and its a darn right pity because i used to think i was a pretty darn cool girl. even though i couldn't do splits.

no - i did not know that Dave Matthews had a vineyard. this crush wine was the first I knew that two of my favorite things - DMB and wine mixed like that. As a UVA girl, a part of my heart will always be a DMB fan.


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