Lessons in Surrender: Drooling

I have been practicing drooling.

Yes, drooling. 

Yoga. And drooling. Together.

courtesy of yogadork.com

I just spell-checked drooling. That illustrates how uncomfortable I am with the concept. I am not even confident in the spelling.

Apparently, drooling is not just something you do when you fall asleep on the couch and someone catches you snoring.

Why does it happen? Your mouth is relaxed. Your face is relaxed.

You are relaxed.

Which  means this happens to me roughly 1% of the time, including sleep.

Am I calm? Yes. Surprisingly so, thanks to the effects of a daily yoga practice and meditation.

But am I relaxed? Not really. No. I'm working on it. I've been working on it for years. But if I had to give myself a grade, I wouldn't be passing.

So the other night I took a Forrest class with Kiki and theme for the evening was "relaxing our jaw to relax our hip." I found this to be suspect as my jaw is rather far from my hip and not noticeably connected by any singular muscle. When Kiki told us we could get yoga bonus points for drooling, though - I literally got excited. It's a pavlovian response from my type A self: Bonus Points! Extra Credit! Tell me what to do!

We'll interrupt this blog post for the conversation that was occurring in my head at this point during class:

Oh my god. Really? Here we are in triangle, trying to drool and you are getting excited about BONUS POINTS??? This isn't 5th grade science class. Have you learned NOTHING from practicing yoga? Do you even know how to drool?

Old habits, old ways of thinking - die hard.

But in that class I let myself drool - just a teeny bit.

The bonus points turn out to be that if you let your mouth relax, slowly but surely your hips relax. I'm not sure why. But it worked. It worked during that class, and it has worked subsequently. It is amazing in savasana.

But relaxing my face is hard. I have to really focus on doing it. And as I have practiced this over the last week or so, I have concluded that I clench my jaw pretty much all the time.

But this is one Type A yoga practitioner's hope that the bonus points keep coming.

And although I am quite sure he wasn't talking about drooling, Patthabi Jois was right:

"Do your practice and all is coming."

Relax my jaw, relax my hips...

Pretty soon I might just relax my life.