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By Sarah Flick
Smoking Break Salutation
Bring "sun salutation" into everyday life! As Women, our most reliably consistent time spent greeting the outdoors is often (yes!) during smoking break. The exhaust fumes from passing vehicles outside your office building will open your chakras as you experience your morning nicotine rush. Salute the morning; salute your health.
Stand tall with unlit cigarette poised between 1st and 2nd fingers of right hand and lighter grasped firmly in left hand, then drop head forward until forehead touches knee. Extend arms forward, flicking lighter. Slowly rise, clasp hands together and light cigarette. Mountain pose! Focus on the release of tension attained through nicotine then bring cigarette to mouth. Inhale. Cough on exhale. Feel tranquillity. Namaste.
Achieve serenity while getting in touch with your Inner Feline. Clench fingers into curled "claw pose," get down on all fours and hop around the room, any room. It's great for extension of the spine. Attach a rolled yoga mat onto your backside for use as a tail. The breathing is important: hiss with each inhale but yowl loudly and freely with each sharp exhale. After five minutes of hard breath work, all tension should easily flow from every nook and cranny of your body into your mouth... and stay there for some time. This will open up the seldom-acknowledged and tremendously powerful "tooth" chakra - just watch out for lockjaw! Not to worry; lockjaw is a very, very rare condition but just in case, keep a supply of incense sticks within arm's reach to pry open your mouth.
When: (a) during salary discussions with your supervisor; (b) on first
Additional Gear: kneepads; "bitch red" lipstick
Try this one in the lunchroom at work. Balance on one leg with right foot wrapped around backside and crooked/tucked over left hip. Hold pose for two minutes, then other leg. Beginners may use water cooler for support. Breath is a nasal high-pitched giggle that expels air. Try it:
He! He! He! (that's the hyena part). In the advanced version of "hyena" you should be able to wrap right foot completely over your left hip and touch the base of your spine with your big toe while simultaneously discussing substandard job performance or marital problems of co-workers with anyone who passes by. Use folded mat to ward off hostile passersby and if anyone tries to knock you over, just remember that they are merely ignorant and do not understand the beauty that is Women's Yoga; just beat them soundly with your mat and feel at peace with the universe. Namaste.
Additional gear: Brass knuckles, cudgel
Lie flat on your back in bed with the lights dimmed and the TV remote in your hand. Place your rolled yoga mat comfortably under your pillow for extra softness. Watch only reality TV, or anything on the E! network. Visualize tension leaving your body and entering the body of an attractive TV commentator. If anyone tries to talk with you remind them in a soothing, sibilant whisper that yoga is very, very hard work and you must not be disturbed. Breath must be slooow. Namaste.
When: whenever necessary
Additional Gear: bag of cheetohs
Best done with a partner! but a pole will suffice. Breathing should be fast and shallow; feel free to "baaa-baaa" or even moan, during exhale. Hop onto your partner and feel the multiple stretches during wrapping and climbing movements. It feels so good to extend your spine. Your rolled-up yoga mat should be utilized creatively, but playfully, if you know what I mean. Your partner may require considerable assistance if he/she is unfamiliar with New Woman's Yoga. Tension? Trust me, you won't feel any.
When: During/after heavy drinking with your boss, or your best friend's ex, or any other highly inappropriate romantic interest.
Additional Gear: any music with a loud, thumping bass
Lock the bathroom door, fill the oversized tub, turn the jets onto "high", use your rolled-up yoga mat to wipe up any puddles, and crawl in. Use snorkel to attain full sensory submersion and don't forget to breathe! (that might be a hard one). Tension in your throbbing temples might or might not go away. Don't break this pose until you're God-damn good and ready.
When: (a) after an animated "conversation" with your ex regarding money; (b) after any morale-boosting "workshop" conducted by your employer's Human Resources Department that exceeds 10 minutes; © the morning after Feisty Goat (see above).
Additional Gear: white noise machine and the key to the dead bolt
© 2007 Sarah Flick
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Flick has a master's degree in Ecology and worked for many years in environmental planning, until three years ago. At that time, forty-year old restlessness set in and she is now training to become an English teacher. On the personal front, Sarah is married 8-year old twins.