When you look at me, one thing you don't think is, "Well, there's a man who does yoga." That's the reason I wanted to try yoga -- because it's something I don't, and probably shouldn't, do. I've just never considered my inner being to be very yoga-friendly. I'm namaste-intolerant. However, a friend of mine told me yoga was a good way to relax and release tension. I'm a college senior with a month left of college; I have a lot to be worried about. I do stand-up comedy in addition to being an English major; I have no idea how I'm supposed to make money after graduation. With all this stress towering over me I could use something to channel all my negative chi. So when my friend asked me if I wanted to do yoga, I thought to myself, "Whatever." With that gung-ho spirit I headed over to the dojo or whatever they call places that hold yoga classes. I had the option of doing "Hip Hop Yoga" or "Deep Relaxation Yoga." This was no Sophie's choice. I chose to do something that was potentially relaxing rather than to listen to Akon sing about his dick.
I arrived at the yoga spot and found that I was one of two guys taking the class. The other guy refused to wear a shirt and had long curly hair, in a bad way. When gauge earrings came into style he probably thought to himself "Finally!" He was also fat, fatter than I was, which actually made me feel good about myself. So off to a good start.
We started the session by taking an upholstered pillow and doing a "child's pose" on it, which entails putting one side of your face and stomach on top the pillow, while your knees and legs are behind it. It basically looks like you're passively date-raping an upholstery.
The instructor had lost her voice and I could barely hear what she was saying. I managed to catch every fifth word she would say. I was able to make out, "Take your elbow," then raspy mumbling, more raspy mumbling, more inaudible jabber, "onto your foot." Then, everyone would mold himself or herself into some kind of human fancy, folded, bar mitzvah dinner napkin. It was awkward and uncomfortable; it was also 90 degrees in the room. I was a sweaty confused little boy in a strange world that smelled like mahogany.
After a bunch of "Downward Facing Dogs" and "Reverse Warriors," my muscles were trembling. I was also sweating like one of those fat kids on that MTV show MADE. Finally, it came time to do "Warm Downs," which consisted of lying down. That was it. Just lie down and listen to weird music. It felt so good to go from a straight hour of excruciatingly hard postures that required muscles I didn't know existed to just plain lying down. It was so blissful to lay on the floor, motionless. All my prior problems didn't exist; all I felt was relaxation. Yoga had done what no anti-anxiety medication could, what cigarettes once promised: it revealed a serene feeling that had been lost since childhood. Somewhere in that clammy painful hour I had escaped my profound sense of worry. It was so freeing! I lay on the floor just thinking of how good it felt to let go. I felt like I was flying. Then "I Wanna Fuck You" by Akon came bleeding through the wall.