For my birthday, I got a hot yoga groupon from my best friend Patty Cakes, who is more formally known to the rest of the world as Patrick. Not exactly thrilled by the idea of putting myself in 120 degrees, but not one to pass up free stuff, I say "hey, why the hell not?" Let's go for it.
Now ladies, we all know that we do yoga so we have an excuse to shop at Lululemon. However, since the last time I had worn my yoga pants, I had gone up two sizes: four months of sitting on my ass in my post-college-sweat pants-wearing-sloth-writer phase. The Cosmo on my writing table tells me I'm fat. Cosmo is always right.
So, with the determination it deserves, I drop to the floor, flap my legs around, suck in my stomach, and squeeze myself into my black tights. Turtles on their backs know how it goes.
I waltz over to the mirror to see the damage.
The pants make my butt look big; not the Kardashian kind; but the "Oh-my-god-Becky" kind; the kind that, if I were to saunter down the streets, would cause babies to crash, and cars to cry. Why hasn't anyone invented Real Life Photoshop yet? Until somebody does, I will strategically throw on this long, loose tank.
You're welcome Brooklyn.
Come to think of it, maybe the groupon was Patty Cakes's way of telling me I was getting fat. I did notice him reading my Cosmo the other day. It had a great article on "How women who have 5 extra pounds are more likely to get mauled by a lion on a safari."
I Ommmm my way into the heated yoga studio, at first, mistaking it for the sauna. Plopping down on my mat, I look around. Tonight, there are four kinds of people in the room: there are the uber flexible types who don't have any bones; the hipster types who have been doing this since before it was cool (or so they say); the sensitive, middle-aged, muscular dudes, who have their salt-and-pepper hair; and then there is me -- the self-conscious, guilty types, who haven't been inside a studio in months.
Our yoga instructor, Toni, closes his eyes behind orange spectacles and tells us to get into child's pose, asking us to set an intention for the day. As much as I want to come up with a higher intention of "spreading love, activating my chakras, and sending positive energy, while riding a unicorn across a rainbow of butterflies," I decide that in light of my present circumstances I just want a Photoshopped butt. The chakras will have to wait.
So far, I'm really enjoying this child's pose. I got this whole hot yoga thing down. No sweat!
Toni tells us to breathe deeply (In these tights?!!). The class rises in a collective downward dog. I notice that the woman in front of me has a fantastic butt-- like Pippa Middleton and Kim Kardashian had a baby. I really should stop staring ... oh shoot, she catches me. So I do what any reasonable person would do; pretend I am staring unconsciously in the distance, and her butt just happens to be in the way.
For the next twenty, we flow into our sun salutations. By now, my tank is drenched in sweat and sticking to my body. I can see my reflection in the pool of sweat at my feet. I wave. My reflection flips me off.
Toni's voice drones on in the background -- something about how the universe loves me. I'm about to faint. In my light-headed desperation, I fumble for my water bottle, gulping down most of its contents. I'll have to ration out the remaining few sips of water over the next fifty minutes. Not quite 127 hours, but pretty much in the same ball park. It occurs to me that perhaps Patty Cakes bought me this groupon not because I was fat, but because I started calling him "Patty Cakes."
Well played, sir.
Maybe I should just stay in child's pose for the rest of class, but then I ask myself "What would a Victoria's Secret model do?" So I wobble into a weak warrior one. Slipping and sliding, I gesture wildly to Toni for help. He is too fixed on Fantastic Ass girl, with her Fantastic Assets, to notice me. Who can really blame him?
"Find your down dog"
We obey Toni. At this point he decides to help me by coming up from behind and adjusting my butt. So what if this is the only action I've gotten in months?
Speaking of action, notice how half of the yoga positions look like sex positions and other half look like even more adventurous sex positions?
Yoga: brought to you by the folks who gave you the Kama Sutra.
You're welcome Brooklyn.
Another half an hour of twisting and turning later, I make it to the other side.
"Melt into your mat."
Soaked in sweat, I take that literally.
We spend the next five minutes in savasna, also referred as the corpse pose, by the more sombre amongst us. In other domains, I call it the "honey-I'm-too-tired-tonight" pose.
I understand now why hot yoga is so stress relieving. It doesn't really take your stress away, but sure as hell makes the rest of your life seem easier by comparison. My post-yoga mantra: An Om should always be followed by a NOm.
Good thing I have a box of chocolate chip cookies on my desk next to my Cosmo. Hey, if I survived hot yoga, I can survive a lion attack.
1) When I told Patty cakes, I was telling this story, he wanted me to let y'all to know that he is hilarious, single and extremely well-endowed (I can vouch for two of those).
2) The Sanskrit word Chakras translates to better butt