I haven’t written much lately for a few reasons. I’m working on some stuff for my parents (this is true), but I think the main reason is writer’s block (this is even more true). I’ve jotted a few things down lately, but it’s all been weak, barely scraps, and not worth flushing out. At the very least, let’s just say, I haven’t been able to flush anything out (the biggest truth of all).
Who knew it would take a naked guy in yoga this morning to spark my imagination??
Well, it worked like magic, people.
(This is a good time for a disclaimer. Naked might be a half truth.)
Despite laying my mat in all different sections of the studio for the last month (to keep breaking out of my comfort zone), I was a bit late getting to class this morning and resorted to my default position—in the middle of the back row. It wasn’t my normal class either, which didn’t help my frenzy to get set-up.
I arranged my towel on top of my mat and sat down.
That’s when I saw him walk past me into the middle of the room.
A naked guy, minus his two little cherry tomatoes covered by a tiny, shiny, black …
Ok, all you dirty birds, I’m talking about his tiny hiney….
This was a lot to take in first thing in the morning, not unlike Yoga Barbie who showcased her boobs a couple of weeks ago. I squirmed and stewed on my mat, contemplating this unexpected turn of events, while everyone else filed in. My thoughts started to run a little wild.
I don’t know if I can take this….
Aww, fuck me, he laid his mat down directly in front of me…
The only thing worse than the psychopaths in spandex, who choose to put their mats down in the middle of the floor when wall space is available, is the one dude, barely in any spandex, who puts his mat down in … the … exact middle … of … the … entire space…
Can I really face that for an hour?
I don’t know if I can do it…
Please, someone … lay your mat down in front of me …
What happened to sporting ‘athletic wear?’ Isn’t that a thing anymore??
Who thought this was a good idea?
This is right up there with the “bathroom selfie.”
When did that become a thing?
How do we go from shitting in an outhouse, away from our “den,” to memorializing ourselves in the very room where we defecate?
Isn’t that kind of an oxymoron, and a really bad one?
Why do people do that?
Why isn’t anyone laying their mat down??
I’m going to have to write all of this down…
Like right now …
No, you can’t! You’re doing yoga!
Get in the moment, ommm …
Write about it later….
Can’t do it.
I’ve got to get my phone out of the locker room…
I felt a little guilty, but the sudden inspiration, after an admitted dry spell, squashed those reservations. I hopped up and jogged back to the locker room and grabbed my phone. I sat back down on my mat and scribbled furiously before the teacher came into the studio.
I kept waiting for someone, anyone, a late person?, to put their mat down in front of me, behind him, but it never happened. Just like the emerging bald spot in the midst of his long locks, so too did an empty spot stand out amongst the patchwork of mismatched mats scattered around the room.
I shook my head.
I had an unobstructed view.
Well, you don’t get to pick your neighbors …
The guy looked as if he had worked out plenty in his life and had lifted a lot of weights. Not very tall, his only other remarkable feature besides the itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, miniature, black bikini was his Sonny Bono hair and mustache. Despite the chiseled physique, I couldn’t help but think he resembled an old steak perched on the grocery store shelf, wrapped tight in cellophane, sitting in its Styrofoam tray, way past its due date.
When class started, I was relieved I could finally avert my eyes. With my face only a few inches above the ground in downward dog, I snapped out of my judgyness, while all the blood rushed to my head. Pedaling out my feet, I suddenly got a giant whiff of … the unmistakable stench … of dirty feet.
A lot of them …
Like a stampeding herd of sour sneakers running for their lives.
A watery film started to form across my eyes. The air sucked back out of my mouth like a vacuum, before it ever reached my lungs. I could hardly stomach it. Trying to figure out where the wave of stench was coming from, I blamed the previous class, the class I usually joined, which is the very first class of the entire day.
So this is how the room smells after we leave it …
I jumped my feet up to my hands, and standing up, I regained my clear breathing, only to be simultaneously slapped with the assaulting vision of “Triple B” (Bikini Body Builder).
Shit, I just can’t win today.
I jumped back in chaturanga, relieved once again to be looking at my mat in downward dog. The smell hit me full force. It wasn’t unlike driving past all the mushroom farms in Pennsylvania, when I can’t put my windows up fast enough. Only this time, I was stuck in neutral on my mat, swallowed whole by the mushroom cloud surrounding me.
This is when mouth-breathing really comes in handy.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, we jumped back up to standing. I was instantly slapped by the glaring, white manifestation of Triple B in front of me. Even my peripheral vision couldn’t shake him. It was as if his image was a permanent stain, an eye floater, that followed my sight no matter where it turned.
Ackkkk, avert your eyes, avert your eyes!
Boom. Back to downward dog.
I questioned my life choices.
Is this cosmic justice for my judgyness?
Are the Gods sitting around having a laugh at my expense?
Then the reality hit me.
I took mental inventory.
When was the last time I washed the yoga towel that soaked up my dripping sweat every day??
I realized I skipped washing it this past weekend. There’s a fine line between maintaining the condition of something, by keeping it clean, and wearing it out, also by keeping it clean.
Oh. My. God.
Do my neighbors know it’s me?
Are their eyes watering too?
Does it make them want to vomit like I want to?
Oh my God, am I THAT girl now??
Am… I … The … Pig-Pen … Of … Yoga??
This was WAY worse than walking around with a piece of spinach stuck in my teeth and no one telling me …
I fixated on my yoga faux pas until the strain of actually doing it caught up to me. The faster we moved, the less I thought about, and noticed, any of it.
After we finished, I went back to the locker room and grabbed my coat. I left my mat in the locker, but I put my yoga towel in a separate locker to sit alone in its swampiness, sort of like being in time-out in the corner of a classroom. I was headed for a quick coffee before joining my second yoga class 45-minures later. I try to double-up on classes when I can. I like having the opportunity to really challenge myself when it’s available, which isn’t often enough.
Despite all this self-motivation, I found out last week how quickly I adapt to the rigors of class. In the “sculpt” class, there is a brief section of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). It happens in the middle of the hour. I always dread it right before it begins, bracing for the impending pain, but the relief it brings once completed is palpable.
It’s when I know I’ve crossed over the halfway mark of class.
Last week, in one of my classes, we spent forever planking, mountain climbing, and doing burpees. I kept thinking, “This is a bit much before our HIIT. Good lord, I’m not going to have anything left.”
What I didn’t realize was the teacher switched it up that day. Usually the HIIT section is done moving around on our feet. Sometimes a variation of plank might be intertwined, but it is never the star of the sequence.
The short of it is, when I realized all that planking and burpee-ing was the HIIT section, I felt cheated.
Because I had subconsciously held back, thinking we had something even more strenuous coming up next when we didn’t, and I knew in that moment I had held back in order to make it “doable.”
My body has the ability to rationalize of its own accord.
Doubling up on classes helps deter this economy of efficiency, soley through fatigue by default. The second class I attended today was less difficult, but it didn’t matter. My legs shook for the entire hour and I struggled with all of it.
(Today sort of made up for last week’s slacker moment.)
Before I left the studio for good this morning, I gave my yoga towel a good whiff after springing it from solitary confinement. Surprised, I turned it over and smelled it again.
Instead of trying to puzzle it out, I decided to accept this surprising development. Picking up all my belongings, and with my legs still shaking, I walked myself home to get ready for work.
It turns out dirty yoga with a naked guy was an ominous start to an otherwise great day.