There’s nothing weird about studying anatomy at the hairdresser is there? Heaven knows I find the whole process so tedious I need some way of passing the time. Flicking through one magazine is usually my limit on that form of entertainment, so my Plan B in hairdresser survival is to bring my own reading matter. (Plan A, by the way, is simply not to go very often!).
But I’m also always fascinated by watching an expert at work. Maybe it’s seeing someone ‘in the flow’, their concentration on the task in hand — I find this kind of focus very compelling. Or maybe it’s watching some technical skill that’s outside my own experience and considering how they acquired it — the practice vs inherent ability. So I sometimes consider how my hairdresser knows how to do what she does.
The bit that fascinates me is where she measures the evenness of length on either side of my face by standing behind me and pulling the length of hair through her fingers, comparing left and right. It must be really subtle to feel if one side is fractionally longer by touch alone.
Watching this subtle measuring of evenness reminded me of working recently on Parśvottanāsana (Pyramid Pose) with my fingers feeling the ASIS, the bony protuberances on the front of the pelvis, to track how square I was keeping my hips as I moved my torso forward. At what point does the back hip start opening out? Can I feel it?
I’m only just starting to recognise the subtle forces here (and to coax my ego away from just ignoring them) but then I guess I’ve done this fewer times by far than my hairdresser has measured even hair length. I certainly hope so!
Image source: yogajournal.com