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May 1 – Power of Friendship and Humor-Neutral Pelvis– Laughing Meditation – Spring Inspired Salad

This blog will reach you as I spend time with my close high school friends as we celebrate our 21st Fortieth Birthday. Yes, I know, the birthday thing again. 😊 We started the trip when we turned forty, and besides a blip during the pandemic, we have gone every year. Because I know I will be laughing a lot this week, I decided on the power of humor for this weeks musings.

In class I have only two rules: (1) Breathe, and (2) maintain a sense of humor. There is nothing more annoying than a yogi who takes themselves too seriously. I am incredibly serious about yoga, the practice, the benefits, the joy it brings, but we should never forget humor. This is, after all, yoga not brain surgery!

Our Practice – Neutral Pelvis Etc- Bringing Humor to the Poses

I talk a lot about neutral pelvis. No “mother tuckers” and no “Mrs. Wiggins”. I get blank stares from my students under a certain age on that second reference. When that happens, I stop and explain about the Carol Burnett and Tim Conway sketches.

In class we sometimes stop to find neutral pelvis in tadasana (mountain pose), placing thumbs on our hip bones (pelvic crest) and second and third finger on our pubic bone and imagine them on the same flat plane (piece of paper). You might find the below article about finding neutral pelvis and why it is important, helpful.

I also sometimes invoke the image of Gumby in class when we talk about leaning back against an imaginary wall (rather than leaning over in an effort to get our hand to the floor) in triangle. Again, sometimes blank stares….then I bring up Flat Stanley and the light bulb goes on! 😊

Staying true to the promise to keep the blog’s focus on humor this week, find below a link to the Mrs. Wiggins intercom sketch. Some of you might be giggling already….For those of you who are new to Mrs. Wiggins, you have to wait till about 2 minutes in to see what I mean about neutral pelvis and no Mrs. Wiggins (when Mrs. Wiggins walks into Mr. Tudball’s office). I could have chosen another clip where you would see it sooner, but this sketch is so funny I wanted to share!

Meditating – Laughter Meditation

I think we all know how beneficial laughter is for the soul. When I am with some of my high school friends, and we get going on a roll of laughing, it sometimes just goes on and on - and then just looking at each other makes us start laughing again. Having known each other almost our entire lifetimes, you can rest assured we have a lot of material for giggles and full belly laughs. I am very often the butt of the jokes (I gave my friends a lot of material to work with apparently) but it is always done with love and affection. (one of my friends sent me this for my birthday this year).

There is a kind of meditation practice called laugher meditation. The following article discusses the power of this practice and guides you through how to do a short practice.

"You don't stop laughing when you grown old, you grow old when you stop laughing." - George Bernard Shaw

Maybe grab a couple of your besties and try the laughter meditation together. I guarantee it will be fun!

Nurturing With Food – Spring Salad

I cannot find all that much humor in food, I take my eating very SERIOUSLY!!! I was eating a really good salad the other day and was chuckling about how, truly, salad is my favorite food, and how many people would find that weird. So, I sent the “40th birthday trip” friends a text asking who knows my favorite food, and then for fun a couple of other questions, including my favorite secret “indulgence” and if I were ever to eat sweets (I don’t have a big sweet tooth) what would it be. They almost all said “salad” followed by “you are a weirdo”. They all know my cravings for salty versus sweets, so a few said chips, my friend Pat nailed it with French Fries (we have indulged together more than once over the past 60 years), and dark chocolate….

The recipe for Spring inspired salad celebrates all the earliest spring vegetables to show up, namely greens, peas and radishes. The lemony dressing is light and should be tossed sparingly. Hope you like it.

See you on the mat!


Julia Anne

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