My Toe, My Hand and the Extended Dilema

My favourite activity is people watching. I love to watch people on the MRT, in long lines, watching shows, in any situation, where I can watch the watcher. I like to look at someone and imagine their life. Imagine what they must be capable of, what kind of a family they have, how they must talk, would they be the impatient kind, do they have sense of humour………Then suddenly, sometimes they do talk, on the phone or to someone next to them, and then I jerk out of my wonderland to see how close to the mark I was or wasn’t. These days I look at people and think “can they stand on one leg, and lift the other leg by the big toe” Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. Extended Hand to big Toe pose. Ever since I’ve started yoga, I seem to be surrounded by people who can stand on one leg, like they simply didn’t have a second one. I wonder what it is about my second leg that makes it so necessary for me to use both to balance, especially as I have NO trouble standing on my head. I’m still working on it. Currently I hold the wall, carefully lift one leg, hold the big toe, then fearfully (I’m almost afraid that it might say no) try to extend it. And then something happens. My leg freezes, like it was never meant to be extended off the floor; my standing leg quivers. I falter, flouder, then stand on two legs, puzzled by how my legs would be willing to be extended over my inverted head, balance on my bakasana arms, but not be willing to simply extend straight, parallel to the ground. Sometimes the simplest of poses can baffle us. Our bodies can take us to great heights, cooperate with us in the most crazy situations, and suddenly, a part of your body is not your body at all. I’m still working on how to befriend my hamstrings, so they work with me, and don’t make me freeze everytime I hear this pose being called out in a class. I want to look at the next person in the MRT and go back to thinking…….I wonder what his sense of humour is like.