Thursday, April 21, 2011

Your Yoga Instructor Today Will Be Colonel Hans Landa

196.2 lbs. I think I’ll let the little red-haired imp kick my ass again on Saturday.
Stretch marks. Those must be addressed. And if your thoughts automatically go to pregnancy, I have never been pregnant, to my knowledge. On the other hand, I’ve never been abducted by aliens and gotten an anal probe, but those guys erase your memory after the procedure. Since a “Starsky & Hutch” episode in which everyday guys were being brainwashed into assassins with false memories, I’m not sure what memories I can trust. Yes, “Starsky & Hutch”. And you knew it was a spooky episode because they used the music that sounded like a rusty gate.

Today, we had a sighting of the Dumbass Douchebag, indigenous to Los Angeles. This particular Dumbass Douchebag (or DADB) was inhabiting the steam room at the gym. This guy brought his IPod into the steam room (Dumbass) and had it cranking so loudly, I could hear it on the other side of the room (Douchebag. And his tastes in music were execrable). In about a month, when the unit craps out, he will be arguing with the Best Buy Customer Service that he has no idea why it stopped working and how could it possibly have condensation inside? And you know, the thing will be sent back to Apple, refurbished and sold again through The Boy Genius will probably buy it, again, because obviously, they’re only getting defective models in the store.

April 19, 1775, a bunch of Massachusetts colonists “wore any colors clothes they wanted to, shot from behind the rocks and trees and everywhere” at the British who “wore red and marched in a straight line” at Concord and Lexington. (“The Coin Toss”. Billy Cosby’s “Right” album. Genius. I’ve had that memorized for 44 years).  At day’s end, we were batting .500: Lost at Concord, won at Lexington and ended up the champs at the end of the series in 1783; they were the chumps. Today, a sweet looking little lady who likes to drive on the left-hand side of the road tried to kill a few extra Americans.
Yoga is thousands of years old. However, I distinctly had the impression of playing “Twister” while doing the Hokey-Pokey and that’s what it was all about.
Understand: I was already sore from the weight training yesterday, on top of being sore from Tuesday’s Yoga-tes with Amy. I’m pretty sure I’ll be unable to move by the time you read this.  Please send help. And Tiger Balm.
“Shall we do hip openers today, would that be alright?” sounded innocent enough. From the accent, I expected the follow-up question to be whether we wanted one lump or two. Then, she handed out straps. Pretty purple ones. Okay…
The first few exercises were a lot of breathing and stretching. Other than an obsession with things in the groin, The Dame seemed sweet and kindly enough. However, within 5 minutes, I felt like I should have checked her forehead for a Swastika-shaped scar.
The strap was to help stretch the spine for the less flexible (no Viking Biker today, but one of his club buddies was in the house). And apparently  to lasso runaway feet, because soon, we were instructed to make a loop and rope the right foot…(In hindsight, I wouldn’t have been surprised to smell branding irons) and haul the straight leg “towards our noses.”  I don’t know about you, but I believe that if the Almighty had wanted us to smell our own feet, He would have put them a lot further north than they occur naturally.
Things just went Down Dog Hill from there. From a Downward Dog, we were asked bring raise a leg to the side (if Americans had invented yoga, this would be called “Downward Dog, Hydrant Variation”) and then loop it behind ourselves “if we wanted to challenge ourselves more.” I wanted to not fall over, but there were two ringers in the class who enthusiastically “Flipped the Dog.”  (One was a guy who had brought his own strap. Judging by his enthusiastic reaction to this, I suspect he had a ball gag and assless chaps in his gym bag and answered to “The Gimp.” Probably disappointed at the lack of branding irons).  Chacun á son goût.
Another time, we were asked to “sit on those little bones just between your hips and your bottom and balance.” Yeah, about that: there’s been an APB for those particular bones since 1993. However, since I was in class for self-improvement, I faithfully made to follow instructions, had my feet in the air and hands reaching and … are you old enough to remember “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” specifically the guy in the Captain Snow yellow rain gear on a tricycle who would pedal a bit and then fall over? Uh huh. Yup. That was me. However, my shame was tempered when I heard an identical thud from the other side of the room.
We were on our backs and instructed to get feet in the air, knees bent, grab those big toes (where the hell is the strap when you need it for foot roping?) then rock side to side. This is “Happy Baby.” We then learned that if one is in this pose, it is called “Dead Bug” which I suppose is considerably less gross than calling the variation “Dead Baby.” It also brought up high school memories of an underground kind of art project called “The Dead Baby Calendar.” I did not participate, nor did I see it, but I heard the rumors of its existence. Small town, sick minds. If you were part of the Proctor High School Class of 1978 (the year ahead of me), you know about it, too.
I was surprised at being able to stretch and hold my legs down as far as I could. Those toning sneakers are paying off. Bending at the waist and bringing face as close to knees, on the other hand, is a bit problematic. There’s still a lot of waist blocking the way and even though I “pulled my navel towards my backbone” as requested, that’s a hell of a hike for a belly button.  Here’s a math problem for you: “If two experienced yoga students’ navels head for their spines at the same time a novice student’s navel tries to fight its way through a Grand Central Station of fat and has to stop for directions to get to her spine, who is going to pass out first?”
And with all these little “challenge yourself” variations, The Dame would periodically chirp “You’re enjoying this, right?” About as much as seeing a negative balance on the bank statement or losing my Ray Bans or getting stopped by a cop.
Nevertheless, I’m still here. I’d say still standing, but my muscles won’t take it and they’re deeply suspicious of what tomorrow may bring. I shall soak in an Epsom salt bath tonight. If you’re smart, you’ll start the pool now on whether I’ll be able to get out of it.

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