September 08, 2005

Not-So-Hot Yoga, Part the First

Not-So-Hot Yoga, Part the First

Every once in a while, dear reader, the female members of the crack young staff successfully exhort one of the males into doing something preposterous. Although this doesn’t happen with great frequency, it is suitably often to make many of the male staffers cringe.

Just the other day, in fact, one of the female staffers—let’s just call her “Chip”—compelled one of the senior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—into trying so-called hot yoga. This, the wily feminine temptress opined, would be a wonderful way for “Chip” to relieve some stress.

Naturally, in order to head to an afternoon session of yoga, “Chip” was going to have to forget about numerous opinions he holds on the subject. For instance, “Chip” is generally skeptical of advances coming from India; as far as he can tell, the only reason that country isn’t a complete hellhole is the result of British imperialism (and a smidgen of French imperialism). So, if someone blathers on about the brilliance of Eastern exercise, it makes “Chip” blather on about the brilliance of indoor plumbing, modern medicine, and sundry other Western achievements.

Surprisingly, “Chip” ultimately decided to forget his criticisms and head to the local Bikram yoga establishment. This, he was told, was the epicenter of so-called hot yoga. For those of you blissfully unaware of hot yoga, allow us to inform you that it is pretty much like regular yoga, only performed in a room slightly more uncomfortable than Miami in July.

Having arrived at the yoga session, “Chip” was greeted by the instructor, who was—to put it mildly—gayer than a maypole. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all. But, man, Richard Simmons looks straight by comparison.

After a bit of discussion over prices, “Chip” headed to the hot yoga room. There, a few fellow patrons were stretching, readying themselves for the horrible pain to come.

Luckily, “Chip” chose to sit next to a man who was clad only in small spandex shorts. This was going to be my kind of thing, “Chip” thought to himself.

Upon glancing at this fellow, “Chip” had a few doubts about the great benefits of yoga. After all, this semi-nudist was clearly a yoga regular: He had his fancy yoga mat, his fancy yoga water, and was involved in fancy yoga stretches.

And yet, he didn’t exactly come across as a beacon of physical fitness. He was wan, pasty, and disheveled. Frankly, he looked like he sat in his apartment all day eating hemp, waiting for the time in the year in which he can vote for the Green Party.

To be honest, thought “Chip,” if I want to sit in my apartment all day and vote for Ralph Nader, I’d go to grad school.

The fellow who sat to “Chip’s” other side was no more inspiring. A bald, middle-aged Indian fellow, this man was rather hirsute and fat. In fact, he was downright portly. Even so, “Chip” could determine that this character was also an experienced yogi. Which made him wonder: Why the heck am I here? Do I really want a body like this overweight guy? Do I really want to look like I wear more hemp than Woody Harrelson?

And then, dear reader, the class began…

To be continued

Posted at September 8, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack