The struggle is real…
First let me say that I have a ton of respect for those who practice Yoga and the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of this ancient discipline; but come live in my world for a week and we’ll see how you hold up.
Okay having said that we need to discuss the realities of being a road warrior and a person of some substance, or in the common vernacular – FAT. Don’t worry no self-loathing here, I love my roundness; but it does create some challenges. So, this is for all you professional travelers who if you’re like me are on the road more than we are home. We are the ones shoehorned into an airline seat, picking through the hotel breakfast buffet, or God forbid having to take the compact car at the rental depot. I can’t even speak about being forced to remove my belt at TSA – that alone is enough reason to get Pre-Check, but I digress. Actually, if this isn’t you read on anyway, at least you can pity us.
Where was I? Oh yes Yoga, we are not going to be discussing any of the traditional poses today so if you came to read about: planks, cobra, bridge, happy baby or the famous downward dog, well you’re going to be disappointed, you might be entertained however. And one other bit of housekeeping… if you are one of those young (read millennial) 60 hour a week, tailored suit, bearded or not, protein bar eating super serious professionals – well trust me your day is coming – cause most of us started out the same way!
So, what is SOCK YOGA you ask; well quite simply when you reach a certain age and / or circumference the very act of getting your dress socks on in the morning becomes shall we say challenging. Like traditional Yoga it takes a clear mind, focused inner voice, prayer (spiritual), and a unique combination of imagination and flexibility. I’ll give you a hint on the last two – one is significantly more important than the other – it doesn’t hurt to have a background in applied physics and calculus either.
Now I want you to use your imagination as we discuss the most popular poses:
Rocking Turtle: This is easier at a Hilton or Marriott as their beds are sufficiently firm – while on your back take either sock in both hands and extend toward your feet – your legs should be tucked as tightly as your umm abdomen allows – this is normally the first pose attempted and honestly is rarely successful but does provide a sweat breaking warmup. Cautionary note here if you are stuck with a double queen well those beds aren’t nearly as big as they seem and the floor is further away than it looks.
Hidden Ankle: This is normally a resting pose and tends to be a recovery point after a fairly vigorous turtle session. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart peer down toward your feet with your chin (whichever one you want) firmly tucked against your chest. Attempt to see your ankles, the point of this exercise is not to actually see your ankles, thus the “hidden” but to catch a breather and prepare mentally for your next pose.
Burning Knee: Burning knee is a bit tricky and is not recommended with those with an inseam of less than thirty inches. Place either foot firmly on the ground while sitting on the edge of the bed – clearly if you have less than a thirty-inch inseam this simply isn’t possible. While maintaining your balance and grasping your sock in both hands begin bending your leg inward toward your body advancing your foot up the opposite leg. Maintaining proper form and balance is the key here. Studies have shown that this approach is only successful in 3.76% of the known attempts. Additionally, stop immediately if you experience an “popping” of the knee or light headedness. If you awake on the floor and your knee continues to burn you have obviously exceeded the recommended parameters of this particular pose.
Note: This is an excellent time to return to the Hidden Ankle pose and reaffirm your commitment to the lobby meeting in seventeen minutes – you can do this!
Crouching Buddha: Personally, I have found this to be the most effective pose, but I encourage you to put the time in and work your way up to this – not a beginner’s move. This move requires a bit of balance, bravery, and well just plain faith. Begin by assuming a half cross legged position on the edge of the bed – while bringing your second leg into position rapidly sneak your sock over the toes and heel before your body is aware of what you are doing. Your sock will begin traveling up your calf as you complete the move and approach a full cross-legged position. DO NOT HOLD this position rapidly shift your weight grabbing the second sock and repeat on the opposite side. The key here is not to hesitate giving your body a chance to catch on to what you are doing. You now have seven minutes before you’re expected in the lobby.
Panting Buddha: Once your second sock is firmly in place with no chance of slipping off you may maintain the Buddha position while attempting to catch your breath. Once again this is a resting position that allows you to re-oxygenate yourself and contemplate the overwhelming number of carbs on the buffet downstairs.
Hopefully this brief tutorial will alleviate some of the stress associated with being a road warrior of substance. For all of you “others” now you understand the glistening sheen we show up with and why having “turkey bacon” on the buffet is just rude. Oh and no we don’t want a protein bar, be a thoughtful travel companion and bring the car around – whoever parked three rows out was just being spiteful.
Mind – Body – Spirit my friends…
#SOCKYOGA – the struggle is real