Saturday, September 8, 2012


My wife has long been a proponent of Yoga classes and has repeatedly requested that I go with her to “give it a shot.”  In a moment of sheer imbecility, I blurted out that I would go with her before our child was born hoping that the vague assurance of a floating ultimatum would keep her occupied until I could fake a lumbar injury. Unfortunately, she simply used our developing fetus as leverage and a few weeks ago bookended her request with, “Are you going to break the very first promise you ever made to our child!?” 

Needless to say, I soon found myself standing at the front desk of the gym while the tight-shirted attendant proclaimed that he “had no record of me using the gym.” I confirmed that while my wife and I are both technically members (it is cheaper to use the group plan through my employer than purchase a single plan for her) I have never actually been past the front desk. He glanced up at me and apparently my lack of muscle tone validated my assertions because he mumbled something about “letting me slide this once” but that I would need to make straightening this out a “priority.” I assured him that it would receive my undivided attention.
As we walked into the Yoga room, my wife suggested we claim an inconspicuous spot near the back of the class. My wife, like all serious practitioners, brings her own mat and after selecting a loaner from the “bin of shame” I understand why. The complimentary mats smell like feet & self-loathing. Each time we were instructed to “inhale deeply” I felt like I was driving a Cambodian taxi that had a used athletic supporter hanging from the rear-view mirror.

Thankfully the instructor had excellent taste in music so I was not subjected to a “Chakras & Maracas” playlist while my atrophied muscles were unnaturally contorted. The class itself generally consisted of the leader announcing the name of animal followed by instructions to “breathe loud enough for your neighbor to hear you.” I found this rather difficult as it was taking all my concentration to maintain “squatting zebra” while avoiding an involuntary release of flatulence (which I am told is a common issue).  

There was even a requests section when attendees can shout out their favorite positions so that they could be worked into that day’s routine. I briefly toyed with the idea of fabricating an advanced-sounding position like “herniated giraffe” so that I wouldn’t look like such a newbie but with my luck she would asked me to demonstrate it for the class. I also found it curious that several positions have sequels to them like “Warrior 2” which begged the question, “What exactly went wrong during the original warrior that necessitated a replacement”? 

Once an order was given, I would glance back and forth between the instructor and my wife in order to mimic the correct positioning. I learned very quickly that watching the instructor is as depressing as it is disturbing. During “reluctant squid” she appeared to have unhinged her upper torso and was in very real danger of being smothered by her own calf muscles. I knew that Yoga provides almost limitless flexibility, but the contortion was extreme enough that if Jesus had been in the class he would have offered to heal her of her affliction.

There is also the issue of wardrobe. While the female form attired in spandex can appear graceful and even sensual, the same options are not open to her male counterparts. It is just not possible to retain the same level of visual appeal while wearing a pair of basketball shorts and a Skid Row T-shirt because they are constantly slipping down to reveal the most utilitarian aspects of the masculine form. I doubt my spouse has ever wanted me more than when she witnessed my pasty-white chicken legs gyrating wildly as I attempted to regain my balance while my drooping shirt covered my face.

Overall, I felt that I performed admirably. I even managed to exhale deeply during a particularly challenging pose. Of course, this was more the result of kicking myself in the testicles while attempting to swing my right leg underneath me while seated on my extended left leg than a conscious meditative effort. 

I can certainly understand the appeal of both Yoga and mat ownership, and perhaps one day I will be requesting positions with the rest of them. For now, I am just thankful my wife doesn’t have a passion for Jazzercise.

1 comment:

  1. Brian may I recommend ZUMBA. I don't believe the torture is quiet the same. If nothing else you can laugh and you are not going to disrupt anyone else...let me extend you an invitation to Malesus Methodist Monday at 5:30 pm :)


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