Actually, I should be more specific. Don’t try this if you are home alone.
I went to my usual Wednesday evening yoga class tonight to find that a substitute was teaching instead of the usual instructor. That’s cool. I like to shake things up every now and then and see what a different teacher has to offer. Class was very challenging but was going well until near then end when we came to the great hip opener the instructor had promised us when we began class. She told us to grab our straps. We began in butterfly pose (aka cobbler’s pose or baddha konasana), positioned the strap under our feet and wrapped it up around our backs at waist level and fastened it on the side near one hip. Now that we were bound, she showed us how to flip over by rolling onto one side and moving onto our bellies. It was actually a nice pose and a really great hip stretch. After we’d been in the pose for about three minutes, the instructor told us to wiggle one foot free from the strap and that, from there, we should be able to easily come completely out of the pose. I wiggled one foot. It wouldn’t come free. I tried the other one. No luck.
India, we have a problem. Perhaps in my zeal of trying a new pose, I had bound myself too tightly, and I began to realize that there was no way I was going to be able to wiggle either foot free from the strap. Nevertheless, I continued to wiggle my feet pointlessly as the rest of the class members easily freed themselves from their binds. I contemplated flipping over. Maybe if I were on my back, I could reach the fastening point of the strap and gain freedom that way. The problem was, I didn’t know exactly how to flip over and not cause myself injury. “Um,” I muttered, hoping to gain the attention of the instructor, who was looking the other way.
In case you’re having trouble picturing the scene, this illustration may help. Actually, maybe not.
“Um,” I said again, this time with greater volume and urgency. Still, the instructor took no notice. The rest of the class was moving on, and I was still a bound frog. The woman on the next mat over finally took notice and came to my rescue. Even she had difficulty freeing one of my feet from the strap. “Oh, am I hurting you?” she kept saying. I think I may have grunted. At that point, I really just wanted to be free of the strap and the pose. When my right foot finally slipped free, I flailed around, perspiring heavily, still somewhat tangled in the godforsaken strap that had imprisoned me.
“You bastard!” I screamed, as I finally shook loose from its grip. Okay, I didn’t really scream, but I did stand up and throw the strap on the floor like I meant it.
The instructor finally turned around. She smiled, oblivious to the ordeal I had just been through. “And now let’s take a nice easy forward fold.”
After class, on the drive home, I felt thankful that I had been in class when this had happened. I imagined an alternative situation in which I was home alone with a yoga video. My husband would arrive in the evening to find me on the floor, my limbs numb from being in bound frog for three hours, the cats milling about me, mewing urgently to alert me that their dinner was late.