Yoga in the makeup chair

My brother and I at the Waldorf-Astoria wedding. Yoga organically wove itself into the “glamorizing” process.

My bourgeois-inspired guilty pleasure: getting dressed up for black-tie affairs.  Ask me to one of these events, and I’ll usually say “Absolutely!”  Pulling together the hair, the makeup and the dress always thrills the little girl inside of me – the one who used to dream of being a princess at fairytale ball.

Disclaimer: I’ve since come to terms with not being a real princess and that “fairytale” balls are themes reserved for high school proms.  Regardless, I still try to capture the essence of that fairytale fantasy whenever I can.

Last night, I attended a posh wedding at the Waldorf-Astoria, which meant time in the hair and makeup chair.  Fun!  On the surface, this hair/makeup ritual couldn’t be any more different from yoga.  It is a process of primping outer beauty, while yoga practice is a time to dive inward.  Staring at a mirror for a few hours triggers fixation on the ego, while yoga practice seeks to strip away the ego.  These practices don’t really complement each other.

However, yoga can be found in the most unlikely of places – the makeup chair included.

Here are two interesting observations from this appointment:

  • The stylist told me to relax before she got to work on my hair.  I relaxed.  She looked at me funny and said, “No, really relax, sit back.”  Then I realized: I was relaxed sitting completely upright.  My pelvis was in neutral, sternum was lifted, collarbones were wide, shoulders were down.  I was putting yoga posture to work at the salon, unconsciously.  She immediately began peppering me with questions about yoga, perhaps inspired by a form of “relaxation” she hadn’t seen with other clients.
  • The makeup artist spent a lot of time designing my eyes with a 60’s-inspired look.  It was a tedious process to get the eyeliner just right.  In order to apply it properly, she instructed me to keep my face forward and only move my eyes in the direction she requested.  “Look down and to the left” … “Look up and to the right” … “Look to the right” … “Look to the left.”  With my eyes darting all over the place, I realized that this was an unplanned opportunity to explore drishti exercises!

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