Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Your Job Is Driving You Up the Wall...

I work at a coffee shop in the village. I spend my entire 7-8 hour shift on my feet on uneven ground covered in coffee beans and coffee oils. By the time I get off, my feet are not happy campers, and to add insult to injury, I still have a respectable number of blocks to cover before I get home, and even then usually half a dozen things to do around the house before I can get off of my feet. All too often, my feet are still not happy campers when I wake up the next morning.

That is, until a couple weeks previously noted, I've been taking a restorative class every Sunday, which has been absolutely fantastic. Almost every week we spend ten to fifteen minutes in a pose quite aptly named "legs up the wall." The most complicated thing about this pose is getting into it: you just lie on the floor with your sit bones against the wall, and your legs extended straight up the wall. This pose puts a gentle stretch in my tight hamstrings, gives my back a chance to realign itself against a straight, solid surface, and most refreshingly, gives my feet the joyous experience of being on top instead of the bottom. All that blood goes rushing back down to parts unvisited, and my feet can just fully relax. After five to ten minutes of this occupation, my feet are all but whistling. All things considered I can't believe it took me as long as it did to make it part of my nightly routine!

Now I do legs up the wall every night just before rolling over and settling down to sleep. Going to sleep with feet that don't ache was the most immediately palpable perk of this practice, but of course, not the only one. As someone who consistently struggles with building and maintaining an at-home yoga practice, having the proper motivation to practice asana absolutely every night without fail (albeit only one asana) has been incredibly eye-opening. It is so grounding to end each day with yoga. Of course, most days I take a studio class, but on the days I work, that's not really an option, so legs up the wall becomes my yoga oasis. It's a beautiful and beautifully simple practice and while I'm practicing patience as far as expanding my nightly yoga routine, I suspect it will evolve to include perhaps at least a couple more poses...

Omily Yours,

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