Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tricky tupperware tops

I have about half a dozen topics that I want to write about, but for some reason I was in and out and all over the place last week!  Oh well.

Here's a silly one.  A few days ago, out of the blue, I decided that the lids of difficult tupperware containers make a great metaphor for all kinds of situations.  Do you guys know what I'm talking about?  Those square plastic containers that you use to store your leftover food?  I think they are better designed these days, but I used to always end up with the containers that were freaking impossible to close.  Corner number one goes on, no problem.  Corner number two is easy, too.  Number three's not bad.  But then as soon as you try to press down that fourth corner, the first one pops off again.  Then when you get number one back down, number three pops up.  You get number three down, and number four pops up again.  This can go on for a long time...



This is almost exactly the same as my experience in standing separate leg head to knee pose, which is one of my least favorite postures ever.  (I had a long conversation with a teacher last Monday about the reasons why I dislike this posture.)  It seems like as soon as I get my forehead to my knee, my hip pops up.  Then I bring my hip down and try to straighten my front leg, and my chin magically pops away from my chest.  Then I get my chin back in (I hate "throat choked") and push my hands against the floor, and there goes the hips again.  I feel like I spend the whole posture chasing that one last corner on the tupperware lid, and it just keeps changing positions on me!  (Either that, or I slack.  Because I don't like this posture.  I never said I was perfect!)

This is how I feel about the series as a whole, too.  As soon as you get ONE thing down, something ELSE just pops right up!  When I start to get the hang of standing head to knee, my standing bow goes to shit.  When standing bow starts to get back on track, I can't remember how to do standing head to knee.  This isn't always true, but it's a pattern that I've noticed more than once!

The advanced series is even better, because there are so many different postures - so many "corners" to keep track of at once!  Lately, I've magically acquired the ability to get some decent height in lifting lotus and I can balance for a while in peacock in lotus, but I've lost all ability to get my shoulders to go behind my legs (I didn't have much of this ability to start with), so crane (which I used to kind of love) is a total joke and all the leg-behind-the-head stuff continues to elude me.

And if the postures behave this way, it's only because our bodies are always changing.  Two steps forward here, one step backward there.  We get stronger, but lose some flexibility.  We get more depth, but lose a little control.  Our minds are super-focused while our bodies are tired and achy, or else our mind wanders all the heck over the place while our bodies are in perfect condition.  Guess what!  That's life!

If I stretch this metaphor to the breaking point, I can even apply it to life.  We've all heard different variations on the "Work, socialize, sleep - pick two!" rule.  It's almost impossible to get everything in perfect order at the same time.  And that's fine.  We're not meant to be perfect.  There's always something that will slip out of place when everything else is going well, and that's to be expected.  Don't worry about it!

But DO try to actually close your tupperware containers all the way, or else you end up cleaning sticky leftovers off the bottom shelf in the fridge.

10 comments:

KatieO said...

"I'm not ready for this! I'm probably going to fall flat on my face?
"Probably has nothing to do with it, you shall. Failure concentrates the mind wonderfully. If you don't make mistakes, you're not trying hard enough."
-Jasper Fforde

lz said...

LOVE your analogy; it is so fitting! So true that our bodies are always changing, and the moment we feel like we have something down, another aspect slips from our control! Maybe we won't always be on top of everything, but that's only natural and expected -- we're only human! I like to think, though, that even though we can't have everything perfect, everything that we do does improve with time. Patience and perseverance!

Yolk E said...

Beautiful analogy, J. I will think of this post and standing separate leg head-to-knee pose every time I pull one of my faux Tupperware containers (faux-pperware?) out of the fridge.

And the alliteration in your title is just icing on the cake! :-)

Johan said...

Nail. Head. Hit.

BTW, is Tricky Tupperware going to become your new name for TT?

bikramyogicheryl said...

Love the analogy!!! And it's always interesting to me, who is more of a novice, to know what poses are difficult for the more advanced!

Dorothy said...

I feel the same way about separate leg head to knee. It's the one that never seems to come all the way together for me. And I always get a cramp in my ribcage at least once. It's a little dance: snap, snap, snap, pop!, snap, pop! pop! snap, snap, pop! pop! and change.

thedancingj said...

Mom - Yes exactly. I love JF! What book is that from? I read the one called "The Fourth Bear," which was the weirdest/funniest thing I've read since Hitchhiker's Guide...

lz - Yep, there is progress for sure! It's just funny-looking.

E - Haha, thanks, glad you appreciated that little flourish.

Johan - Comment. Best. Ever!

cheryl - Ok, now THAT'S the funny thing here... because some beginners would think that this is a totally easy pose. I had a roommate back in Boston who went to yoga just occasionally, and he said that this pose, specifically, was his favorite part of the class! For me, I struggle most with the forward compressions, and also with tree pose (for some reason). It took me years to let go of my foot in tree, and I still can't do it every time, but some people do it on their first attempt! On the other hand, it took me less than a year to lock out in standing bow pulling pose. Moral of the story? Everyone is REALLY different! :)

Dorothy - Exactly! snap snap snap POP! snap POP! snap POP POP! snap snap POP! Hehe.

Lady Yogaga said...

great analogy! my tricky lid is the side bending portion of Half Moon. hips in one line, weight in heels, shoulder forward, etc. never seems to all happen at the same time for me. i'm doing a correction at every second of that posture... so i totally know the feeling you have. it's frustrating.

vegan salad party said...

me too! exact same postures. leg over head. separate leg forehead to knee. crane. guillotine. full turtle.

i think it's cuz we used to do ballet. and also, the forehead to knee stuff (rabbit etc) hurts extra from some old whiplash....

thedancingj said...

Lady Yogaga - Oh yeah, half moon felt that way for me too, for the first year at least! Lately it has become my friend, though.

kitson - Hah! That's pretty funny. Glad that I'm not alone! I always feel like a little bit of a spaz when guillotine comes around and I'm still just NOT getting it! Yay for ex-ballerinas.