June 20, 2011

The yoga body as…a tube of pork?

I am definitely NOT my body, if my body is this…

There’s been a lot of talk the past few months in the yoga community about the “yoga body.” Body image has and will be forever recycled as a topic of interest, concern, impact, and awareness in many scopes.

Here is one scope that I hope is not revisited.

The yoga body as Thuringer sandwich.

Thuringer Sandwich by Hawk Krall

According to epicurious.com’s food dictionary, Thuringer [THOOR-ihn-juhr] is defined as, “Any of several fresh and smoked sausages named for the former German region of Thuringia.”

In my world, it’s often called gross summer sausage.

So what does a Thuringer sandwich have to do with yoga, you ask? Well it’s the perfect metaphor for the yoga body in many asana! Take Navasana (boat pose) for example. Oftentimes, the student may focus on only contracting the front body, “pulling the belly toward the spine,” (squeeeeeeze the abs, right?!) in order to hold the pose, forgetting that the back should be equally squeeeeeeezed engaged forward to support the spine and keep the heart lifted, etc. Basically, the muscles around the entire circumference of the trunk are lifting upward and inward toward the spine.

Just like a Thuringer sandwich, with the buns hugging the sausage, of course.

  • Spine = sausage
  • Front and back body muscles = bun
  • Other anatomical stuff I may or may not have added into my metaphor = mustard, ketchup, pickles, onion rings, sauerkraut, etc.

Did I use this imagery in my class a few weeks ago? Yes, yes I did. Don’t ask me where it came from but thank God my students found it humorous.

And thank God I had the pause this past week to stop before cuing them to allow their muscles to melt off their bones during Sukhasana (easy pose) meditation, just like the pork roast I’d made the previous day fell deliciously apart on my husband’s fork. I’m not sure they’d forgive me for another such reference.

I don’t eat pork, but I’m wondering if my body is trying to tell me something. Either way… 

…what’s the worst yoga metaphor you’ve ever heard or used?

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