If there is one thing every yogi needs, it is her feet.  The feet are linked to the mysterious waters of Mula Bhanda, Reflexology, Acupuncture, Fascia and (only) the entire way we carry ourselves have implications rooted in the feet.  Ida Wolf said, “A man’s tracks tell quite a true story.”  The feet are like the gate keeper talking to the key master.  The feet are the foundation, and if the foundation ain’t straight, you goin’ feel a ripple effect up the temple, know what I mean?

So while spending 5 hours in the Emergency Room, waiting to see about my foot that seemed to have swollen up like five little sausages, all plump and pink-ey, from what, I think, was a paint chip I stepped on while stripping away all of those layers of paint gooped onto my living room mouldings last week, I began to fully appreciate my feet.   The paint chip had apparently morphed into an infection that was traveling up the front of my foot.  I watched it get a little bit plumper and a little bit redder and a little bit sorer with each passing hour that I waited in the ER, which gave me plenty of time to really start to contemplate the intricate beauties of my feet, previously considered ugly and/or embarrassing.  The occasionally hairy big toe, the scar from bunion surgery when I was 13, the non-existent, squished pinky toenail.   I don’t have pretty feet.  But suddenly my perspective changed:  who the hell cares what they look like as long as they work!

How does one do yoga without the feet?  I researched it.  Not many people do.  It is not only my passion but my livelihood.  It was a quick and sharp reminder to not define ourselves by what we do.   That at any given moment, our roles or our labels, can be stripped away and we will be forced to redefine ourselves with new parameters.  It is oftentimes the smallest things that we take for granted.

Not having found anyone to cover my classes, I taught two classes “on my way” to the hospital.  And I hobbled around the room, increasingly frightened, but present.  Slowing down the way I talked and walked, and still with my class, supported, in fact, by them.  Sometimes it becomes hard to accept your limitations.  Those times when you find real strength in maneuvering through the things that hold you back; the things that slow you down.

The things that make. you. pause.

There is a moral to the story, but I heard this today and I think Dr. Seuss sums it up best:

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

Well, with a large dose of antibiotics and some hard lessons learned, I am just grateful to have a right and a left; one occasionally hairy big toe, a bunion surgery scar and some squished up pinkies.


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