I hate my feet. Hate hate hate them. And don’t particularly like touching anyone else’s feet — likely a result of this disgust with my own feet.
At tonight’s yoga workshop, however, I had to get over this aversion real quick.
The class was devoted solely to savasana, hands-down my favorite part of yoga practice. The final resting pose is the light at the end of the tunnel when the practice is particularly challenging. Usually, the more challenging the practice, the more blissful the meditation during savasana.
The other yummy part of savasana is when the teacher gives adjustments — especially when the adjustments feel more like a delicious massage. When I belonged to Crunch Fitness years ago, there was one yoga instructor who kept me coming back to his class because his adjustments during savasana were wonderful. I’ve also had some awkward moments with teachers who didn’t enhance the experience at all. In fact, they ruined it with abrupt or jerky movements of my body that prematurely ripped me from my bliss.
I do not want to be that teacher.
That was my motivation for attending tonight’s class — to learn some of the basics to help students sink into bliss, not unravel out of it. What I didn’t anticipate was spending 10 minutes giving a perfect stranger a foot massage. I thought we’d learn a few tricks with the shoulders and head. Not the feet. Ugh.
While it was somewhat awkward for me, as I’m not someone who touches and massages people so freely, it was a valuable lesson in that it forced me to explore. It made me uncomfortable, and forced me to confront this aversion. As I concentrated on pressure and rhythm, and playing around with hand positioning along the foot, anxiety slowly lessened. It transformed from “Ohmygod, I’m touching this person’s feet!” to “How can I seize this opportunity to learn, in order to enhance future students’ savasana experience?” Massaging this stranger’s feet became … kind of pleasurable.
Despite this revelation: Don’t expect me to give foot massages on a regular basis during your savasana.
Side note: Why some choose to leave yoga class right before savasana has always upset me. Guess those are the people with “better things to do” than take 10 or 15 minutes to let the effects of a yoga practice truly resonate. To each their own.