Monday, July 8, 2013

Pretzel Yoga

Slinging pretzels in San Francisco
     Traditional health care benefits do not usually accompany untraditional lifestyles, but there is hope that occupational happiness is good preventative care. At times, my "happy to be teaching yoga" habit asks to be supported by other odd jobs. This is not a problem, since I enjoy a varied work life. For some of us, occupational happiness means putting our skills, interests, and open minds into a hat for fate to choose. This past week I was offered something new in the gig department. I spent July 4th at Fisherman's Wharf behind a pretzel/churro cart. It was hard to stop smiling that day. Every person I encountered at the stand was kind, polite, and surprisingly grateful for their $3 snack. I felt like a summertime Santa Claus.

Have you ever had a chance to be playful at work?
The gig reminded me of one I had enjoyed as a kid. Twice per year, my uncle arranged for my brother and I to sell roses on the streets of small Minnesota towns. It was also reminiscent of years spent in the restaurant world. It's the kind of work where 10 hours pass quickly, due to the constant action. I spent the 5th of July on a couch recovering from all of the interaction, but was ready to go again yesterday for one more pretzel gig at the Alameda Antique Fair. It was amusing to watch people walk by with parasols, dressed in vintage dresses and suits, etc. Folks wheeled carts around containing giant plastic reindeer and many other oddities. I felt right at home. We are all so unique!

There is no doubt that yoga helped me through the slinging pretzel days. Mountain pose helped me avoid slouching, and the straining effects of leaning to one side. Breath awareness kept my energy level high and nerves calm, even when surrounded by mini-mobs of customers. Anytime I had a few moments to recover, I found a yoga pose, usually something addressing quads and low back. Just for fun (and upper back relief) I took full eagle pose a few times too, the one most associated with looking and feeling like a pretzel.

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