Gas Station Yoga
I swore, balancing precariously on my right leg, arms swinging, and narrowly avoided landing ass first on the floor. Holding the door to the stall shut with the tip of my left foot, I tried to park my distended bladder on the toilet seat without touching anything. I'm 25 years old. Sprawled out on the floor of a gas station restroom, with my shorts around my knees, is not how I want to go out.
Lets back up....
I am a vertically challenged, reasonably intelligent female, seasoned in the ways of the long drive. That said, this last pit stop had me questioning my life choices.
Why do I do this to myself??
Every. Single. Time.
I finally managed the landing, and continued to mentally reprimand myself while in the throws of sweet, sweet relief.
I'm currently 6 hours into an almost 9 hour drive to New Orleans with my boyfriend. Long distance drives are not new, but for some reason I still make the same bad decisions. I put off stopping for gas until the car is running on fumes, I don't pack enough snacks, and I stubbornly refuse to stop for a bathroom until it becomes a crisis situation.
I have been informed by many travel companions, that my bladder is small. Personally, I feel like my kidneys are just very efficient. Draw your own conclusions. I ration my water, limit my caffeine, and mentally fortify myself against physical need, all in name of limiting my stops.
All this suffering, and what do I gain?
A healthy amount of trauma, and a better appreciation for yoga for a start. When you are seconds away from a levee break, picky, is not something you can afford to be. Que sketchy gas station bathroom.
It must be one of Murphey's laws that if you are desperate, the gods of the road will take pity, and provide salvation in the form of a small, run down, gas station. You rush to the back, laser focused on the bathroom sign, sparing only seconds to mentally prepare yourself for what lies on the other side of the door.
The term bathroom is applied loosely. A runaway petri dish that houses plumbing, and may have moonlighted as background for a true crime story, would be more accurate. The real problem, hygiene aside, is that some genius decided the single bathroom could be further constricted into two bathrooms, with the use of stalls.
It's unclear if the locks for the stalls were removed for some unknown emergency, or were never installed in the first place.
I've never been into exhibitionism. I've also never taken the time to measure the distance between toilet and door, but even if it was regulated, I doubt it was designed to allow you to hold the door shut while unloading.
I'm exactly five foot two. Bending in half will not yield enough reach to keep the door closed.
So what's a girl to do??
Any sane person would just pull over more often, before desperation set in, and find a nicer place to pee. But what fun would that be? I'm in it to deep already. I'm committed. Instead, I've come up with a serious of movements, like yoga, using balance and stretch to overcome the hurdle set before me. A gas station asana, if you will.
I now share this valuable knowledge with the world, freely, in hopes of bettering the lives of my fellow bathroom users.
This asana is beginner friendly, so feel free to follow along at your own pace. This is a safe space.
Before you begin.
It is imperative to be completely present in the moment, aware of your breathing, and surroundings. Specifically the toilet paper. We collectively as a species live in mortal terror of using a public bathroom, only to discover to late, that there is nothing to wipe with.
Blessing the seat.
Opening your third eye, channel your chakras, and use the toilet paper to wipe off the seat. I do this every time I use a public bathroom, as if this futile effort will somehow cleanse the area of all bacteria, seen and unseen. I've been told it's important to set your intentions, to create the reality you want. So if you catch something, its because you didn't set your intentions properly.
Use your legs.
Shifting your weight to one leg, lift your weaker, nondominant leg and hook the bottom part of the stall door with your foot, to pull it shut. If you're anything like me, your hands will be full. Keys in one hand and cell phone in the other like a moron. So just hold your arms out to the sides for balance, in case you start listing to one side or the other like a drunken sailor.
Pull down your pants.
Now is the time to slide down your pants. Don't pull them down to far! Remember, one leg is pulling the door shut, and the other is supporting your weight. If you would like to try a modification to make this harder, and use more muscles, wear tighter pants. Less stretchy pants will act as resistance bands making it harder to keep your legs spread for balance.
Lean back slowly.
Slowly bending the knee supporting your weight sit back. The foot hooked on the bottom of the stall door will provide a connection point preventing you from descending to quickly. You don't want to bruise your cheeks! Your weight pulling on the door stall will also keep it closed to intruders while you're do your business. Its a win-win!
If at first you don't succeed, don't get discouraged!
I have been using this maneuver for years. I am able to do it without even thinking about it now. Remember, everything gets better with practice. You have all the tools now to take on anything that gas station bathroom can throw at you. So get on out there and do that gas station yoga!
**Thank you so much for reading! I hope my writing has brought some joy to your day. If I did please leave a tip, like, or comment!
About the Creator
I could be anyone, or anywhere. I am a daughter, a lover, and a friend. I am human. What more could you need to know?
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