Let your forehead go all soft…

Since “indoor” group sports are not possible at the moment, I have been obliged to look around for yoga courses on YouTube – and without much enthusiasm at first. I found what I was looking for from a young woman from Berlin who explains really well and clearly indicates what matters in individual exercises. A real happy ending for me – in the meantime, “yoga with tablet” has become an enjoyable (and beneficial) part of my everyday life.

However, after the first few classes, I found that the blocks I had to overcome were less physical than linguistic. I had certain difficulties with prompts like “Let your forehead go all soft”, because whatever I had hoped for from yoga – a soggy noodle it was not.

I also found “Your heels are looking at each other” confusing, as I rarely have seen eye to eye with my feet. But what I found most interesting was the statement in the context of an exercise “Your breastbone wants to go to your chin.” Dear readers, I don’t know about you, but my breastbone doesn’t want to go to my chin as a matter of principle. It wants to go somewhere else entirely!

As I am generally someone who is easily distracted during strenuous activities, every now and then I find myself thinking ahead instead of contorting myself in the appropriate way, missing the instructions for the following steps. This often happens to me in yoga, for example when I wonder during certain movement sequences, “How can she keep grinning in that position?” – but even more so with the instructions.

For example, what should we think of the command “Cat arching its back”? Most yoga students probably think “cat arching its back”, do it – and then move on. In my head, however, that’s precisely when things really start to happen: the next thing I think is “I wonder if dog arching its back works the same way?”, while other participants are already kneeling with a hollow back again. And having envisaged “dog arching its back”, you can probably already guess what unappetising places my imagination takes me…

Breathing similarly gets me into trouble sometimes. For example, the command “Breathe into the area of your body that hurts or needs affection.” Have you ever tried breathing into your right knee? That’s where the air quickly gets really, really thin….

Anyway – I won’t let my enjoyment of yoga be spoiled by my unbridled fantasies! The best thing for me to do is to ask my harlequin colleague HFI for advice. She is a yoga teacher and she too has a very vivid imagination. Maybe there’s a trick to tame your reveries a little?

And if I practise a lot, maybe I will eventually succeed in “Think of nothing – except your breath”.

Original text: BBR
English translation: BCO


Author: bbr

Hello, I am Beate Brinkman, the bbr.harlekin. I am editor and author for Harlekin.Blog e.V. and my “main job” is support coordinator in an international IT company. So far I have worked in German, Dutch, American and Indian companies and have acquired a great deal of experience of multicultural cooperation. I have been living in the Netherlands as a German for many years and have discovered that the cultural differences between Germans and Dutch alone could fill entire books. For professional and private reasons, I am particularly interested in multicultural (mis)understanding. Whether it’s about food, language, official conference calls or the organisation of funerals – when the cultures of several countries collide, things get lively. And that leads to sometimes unpleasant, often very funny, but always instructive situations.

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