Title: Towel Required
Author: Cori Holstedt
From: Little Italy
Blogging since: April 2013
Post Date: September 10, 2013
If workouts could be as trendy as denim-on-denim was in the ’80s, then yoga would be the equivalent of stone-washed jeans paired with a short-cut jean jacket. Every article in People, U.S. Weekly, and the National Enquirer clearly states that the secret to all celebrities’ achieving their fabulous beach body is yoga. It’s not starvation, a personal trainer, or a personal chef; it’s yoga and pilates, people.
To know me is to know that I loathe yoga. I don’t want to find my inner peace while performing kama sutra poses. I can’t even touch my ankles, let alone wrap an entire appendage around my head. I want high-impact workouts with death-metal jams pumping in the background. But I would also like to look like Jennifer Anniston in Horrible Bosses. I figured there must be some truth to those articles. I mean, look at Madonna: she does yoga all the time, and her butt looks better than mine did in middle school and she can still bag an 11th-grader.
So, for whatever reason, I found myself signing up for my local gym’s yoga class. I actually googled “what to wear in a yoga class,” and it turns out I own nothing from a hemp store or Lululemon, so I did my best to put together an outfit. I ended up looking a like I robbed a thrift store, but whatever.
Like all classes I participate in, selecting the right location is the most important task. Place selection is closely tied to attendance stereotyping, because every type of class has stereotypical participants and picking the right stereotype to downward-facing dog next to is key. In my eyes, yoga classes consist of the following individuals. Option #1) the brooding tattooed vegan man who is currently a practicing tantric. This guy is mysterious and in touch with his inner feminist and believes he can find your G spot simply with eye contact. Also, not someone I feel like I want to be next to for the next 60 minutes. Option #2) the unshaven hippie (male or female). This is someone I will struggle to make small talk with during warm-up and cool-down periods, due to my inexperience with acupuncture, my deodorant dependence, and a ten-year gap in smoking pot. Moving right along to option #3) the couple breaking the six-month relationship barrier that does every type of activity together and promptly has sex right after. Absolutely not an option, but it does bring me to option #4) the couple breaking the six-year relationship barrier that is “trying new things” to recreate the spark so they can actually have sex. Definitely a viable option, but I’m hoping for someone a bit more challenged to camp out next to, and it certainly won’t be option #5) the oddly mature college girl. I think it’s pretty obvious why I want to be on the other side of the room from her. Really, my last hope is option #7) the body builder who is on his “off day” and is doing an extracurricular workout. When this guy walks, his arms are almost on a 180 degree plane. His neck — wait, he has no neck. If I can’t come out of this class looking like a human pretzel next to this guy, I am a complete and total loser.
I am not sure if it was the fact that I thought Adidas tear-away pants were yoga-friendly or the fact that I have no flexibility, but you know you are pretty terrible at yoga when the forever-optimist instructor gives up hope for you after the third pose. I felt like we had a moment during “plow” pose that consisted of only eye contact where she expressed concern for my safety and I expressed the need for her to simply ignore me and pretend I did not look like someone inefficiently doing a somersault. Meanwhile, freaky muscle man was killing it as if he was a practicing Buddhist. Frankly, I can do without yoga because what they say is true. Yoga is a workout that consists of focusing on breathing in and out through your mouth and not your butt. I just don’t think I can do that on a continual basis with success.