As an Art


While almost a proper half lotus pose, Lemur does not mean to insinuate the tongue thing is proper yoga studio etiquette.

I fell again like a pro last night. About 1am I woke for another trip to the bathroom and bounced against the hallway walls a little more than usual; I thought only casually of that because my head was throbbing. I went into the normal post-bedtime routine to which I have trained myself:

  1. Enter bathroom: right turn.
  2. Face commode: right turn.
  3. Turn to sit on commode: 2 right turns.
  4. Sit on commode: Align Achilles tendons against the Squatty Potty and begin to assume Utkatasana (that’s Sanskrit for “chair pose,” and Sanskrit is “yoga talk”) and reach porcelain sitting safety.

video-watchIdeally I would stop after steps 1-3 to reorient myself before turning again, but desire to get back under the covers before I become completely cognizant and awake often keeps me from adhering to that little golden rule. This time it was during step 3 that I began to lose dominion. In that brief trice between “realizing you’re falling” and “hitting the ground,” yoga saved the day. Well knowing both that to do a proper Utkatasana one must pull their hips back, and that if I didn’t change my current trajectory it would be a much more injurious affair, I was able to twist my hips and pull them back quickly enough to end up roughly seated. I fell like a queen to her throne, yo!

Do I seem a bit too excited about losing, then consciously regaining control over a body that excels at taking it away? It’s all the toilet talk, isn’t it?

I’ve got more than plumbing plunges under my belt, and they live the expanse between “Even understanding that a fall just happened” and “Getting up and walking away quickly out of embarrassment until anyone who might’ve seen it can no longer see me” to “Making comedy out of tragedy” to “Turning tragedy into scholarship.”

Don’t get me wrong, I do mean to brag — I’ve gotten very good at falling.

  •     That time I fell down the stairs and grabbed the banister to still hit the landing on my feet.
  •     That time I was able to twist my fall so as to hold one hot, heavy bowl of Indian food stable while simultaneously dropping the other without spilling into a basket of laundry.
  •     That time I fell down the stairs and ruptured my Achilles tendon two nights before flying to NYC and walking the town with my brand new wife.
  •     That time I never stopped waving “hello” as I went down.

    There’s a time and a place for everything and it’s called “college.”

  •     That time I plunged spread-eagle and ended facing an inexplicable direction during the lunch rush of a cafe I worked at and the whole restaurant got quiet.
  •     That time my ex saw me fall in the street and instead of helping me back up, walked away laughing.
  •     That time I fell flat-backwards off a 4′ concrete pillar onto cobblestones.
  •     That time the stairs beside said pillar were iced over and I flew in the air just to have all 300lbs of me land directly on their jutting edges.

Those stories and more should earn me professorship at the school of hard knocks. I can’t not laugh at myself when it happens in public now — even if it hurt, a chuckle takes any maudlin out of the situation for both myself and innocent onlookers. Last night’s fall was a success, not just a misfiring of neurons –even alone I can cachinnate, but this time in victory instead of discomfiture.

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