In the (recently released to DVD) movie “Up” we meet a talking dog named Dug:
“My name is Dug. I have just met you and I love you. My master made me this collar. He is a good and smart master and he made me this collar so that I may talk –SQUIRREL!———-(he shifts his attention, pauses, then returns his attention)——–my master is good and smart.”
This became a running joke with my family at Thanksgiving. Every time someone got distracted mid-task with another task someone would call “SQUIRREL!” and we’d chuckle sympathetically. But when we returned home this past Sunday after holiday travels (tis the season!) and my housekeeping loomed in front of me, I realized that chasing squirrels does actually suit me well. I dance around the house, picking things up, carrying them to the next room where I swoop down my arm and raise my leg behind me and keep my hips balanced and ground myself as I lift the lid to the toy box and then reach forward with the other arm and stretch the other side of my body and…breathe…dropping the toy into the box…
And so I run around my house, chasing squirrels and breathing in my body and thinking and moving and doing and all is well. (Ok, sometimes all this dancing and doing leaves me with piles of clean, folded laundry that never seem to make it to the closet or bureau…but if you don’t have something you need to work on then what are you doing, right?) This is my housekeeping yoga. To me, it’s an accumulation of memories and decisions. Jess, who would perch like a flamingo by the couch in college; “Beth excercises” that I would practice in our flat in Centurion, SA, just moving my body however felt right. You just had to be there, ok? Then, my mother in law told me that my hubby’s Auntie Siena (hot mama) used to stand on her toes up, down, up in the shower to keep her calves fit. When I finally started practicing Namaste Yoga (thanks, DVR!) I started gathering some proper go-to moves and it was done, man!
I go through my phases. I get run down and uninspired and sometimes I just don’t let myself find the time to do it. But when I do…when something has me back on the wagon and I’m listening to my body, it just feels right. I feel balance and strength and calm and all these feelings carry over to other aspects of my life and it’s—SQUIRREL—-
Sorry…what was I talking about?
My Three Favorite Poses (not really…it’s an analogy…)
The Sock Basket: Simple. Keep a basket/bucket/bag in your laundry room for socks that don’t make a pair. When you’re ready for a sock-yoga session just dump the basket out on the floor and reunite long lost pairs, reaching and stretching all the while. [Forward bends, Head to Knee, Twists]
The Poor Woman’s Steam Dryer: Got wrinkles? Don’t reach for the iron! Instead, try wetting a clean dishcloth or towel and tossing it into the dryer with the offending clothing. The moist air relaxes the wrinkles out of most fabrics and, if they are removed promptly and hung, you can skip the dreaded (for me, at least) iron. [Lunges, Revolved Triangle, Gate Pose, Forward Bends]
Homemade Furniture Polishes: (Use an old plastic bottle – whatever size, shape and pouring style suits you)
|Finished Wood Polish||Unfinished Wood Polish|
|2 parts vegetable or olive oil||1 cup mineral oil|
|1 part lemon juice||1 tsp lemon juice|
Mix well and rub into wood with a clean, dry cloth.
[Flex the muscles in your arms and work the them all the way down to your stomach as you clean and polish]