A new post two days in a row? I know, I know: I rock, even if it’s only at the expense of the magazine article I was supposed to be finishing tonight. Consider the following a little Happy Thanksgiving gift, or rather the result of a few too many drinks at Monday Margarita Madness…
Date #17 and I have already established that neither of us can do a headstand. And no, this is not because we’ve been engaging in freaky inverted tantric sex practices, but rather because Date #17 mentioned that he enjoys yoga on our first date and the conversational progressed, for whatever reason, to inversions.
“I can’t do headstands,” he confessed.
“Don’t worry,” I assured him, “neither can I.”
“Really?” he asked.
“And you’re a dancer!” he exclaimed in disbelief. “That makes me feel a lot better.”
“You’re welcome,” I laughed. “Boosting the self confidence of yoga practitioners is just one of the many services I provide.”
(I just crack myself up sometimes.)
Despite our corresponding inabilities in this regard, I’m not feeling terribly confident as I make my way towards the women’s locker room at Date #17’s gym. This is because we’re about to take our first yoga class together, and even though it’s not one of those touchy feely “Be one with the universe and your breath and your lover” sort of classes (which would, no doubt, end with me cracking up, falling out of tree pose, knocking into the practitioners next to me thereby causing a domino effect of felled trees, and finally being asked to leave the studio) I’m already a wreck.
This is because I’m wearing my knee-length high heeled boots, my green chiffon leopard print “tunic” without the benefit of what we Americans would call pants and, because my boots are too big on me, a pair of green tights and an additional pair of black and gray knee socks. No one was supposed to see the inner workings of my outfit (hence the fact that I wasn’t worried about wearing socks with tights inside of my boots), nor was this outfit ever meant to see the inside of a gym, let alone a gym where the super Zen Date #17 comes to restore his connection to the universe.
I feel like a complete flake, mainly because if I ever saw a girl dressed like me heading into the gym, I’d feel compelled to make some sort of snarky comment (probably something along the lines of, “Does she realize this is a gym? I can’t wait to see her hit the treadmill in those shoes!”).
The impromptu yoga wear that Date #17 has pulled from his closet for me is not helping. And of course, because I don’t feel ridiculous enough already, Date #17 runs into a friend and so now I’ve got to smile and attempt to look intelligent when he says “This is Kat.” Ordinarily, I would bask in the glow of “Kat” (because “Kat” is much better than “my friend Kat” even if it’s not quite as good as “my girlfriend Kat”) but I’m too embarrassed to revel in the potentiality of the introduction.
When I finally make it to the locker room, cram my boots, tights, “dress” and limited edition Sarah Jessica Parker jacket into an empty cubby, and change into Date #17’s gym shorts and t-shirt, I’m faced with another dilemma. I now have to cross the entire length of the cardio room to get to the yoga studio. And the only footwear options I have are my boots, my striped knee socks or my bare feet.
I figure that there are probably rules against walking barefoot through the gym, and against wearing high heels in the cardio room, so I fold my knee socks down over the arch of my foot and scamper to the yoga studio as quickly as I can, lest the gym cops find me and revoke my visitor’s pass or worse, Date #17’s membership.
The yoga studio, as it turns out, is pretty nice, but the lighting is dim so it takes me a while to find Date #17 and since he’s already getting his yoga groove on, I don’t want to disturb him with such mundane questions as, “Um, how do you keep your pants from falling down?” and “Where should I sit?”
I help myself to a mat, and then, because my keen observation skills alert me to fact that my accessories are seriously lacking in comparison to everyone else, I grab a pair of blocks and a thick woolen Navajo-type blanket. I have no idea what the blanket it for, but according to Date #17, the instructor is a total drill sergeant so who knows.
I position my mat in an empty space in the front row.
“Don’t sit there,” Date #17 advises. “You’ll be directly in the line of fire.” Evidently the instructor has just returned from India and is hell bent on making everyone’s lives as miserable as possible for the hour and a half.
I reposition myself next to Date #17, and soon enough, I’m being introduced to Date #17’s friend’s wife and we’re talking about movies and hair products, which I can so do because she’s got curly hair just like me and takes the ravages of sodium lauryl sulfate, as contained in most shampoos, rather personally.
But then the class begins.
Now, I don’t want to brag but I’m pretty good at yoga. By this I mean that I took yoga classes regularly for all of six weeks three years ago and memorized all of the poses I like. I have a yoga mat (hot pink, from Five Below, not that you’d know it from the communal khaki pad to which I’ve consigned myself on this particular November morning) and I regularly practice the poses I like, sometimes on the roof deck, sometimes in my bedroom and sometimes, when I’m feeling really Zen (or just guilty from over-snacking) on our neighbors dock on Hooper’s Island.
I do not, however, like pigeon pose, so I don’t do pigeon pose in my usual yoga practice. In pigeon pose you’re supposed to extend one leg straight behind you and bend the other one in front of your body, parallel to the floor. Then you have to squeeze your thigh muscles to raise and lower your pelvis and after five or six tries, my attempts to convene with the universe sound remarkably like “F*ck this sh*t!”
Fortunately, we move on to downward facing dog, which I love. I am a champion downward facing dogger (mainly because I make my preschool students do this stretch every day) but since I’m wearing a t-shirt that about three sizes too big and we’re bent at the hips like triangles, my shirt is riding up towards my head and now my attempts to convene with the universe sound like, “Sh*t, now everyone’s going to see my bra!”
After downward facing dog, we lie down on our backs and the instructor tells us to hug our knees to our chest. This is all well and good until we have to hug our knees to our chests and twist our legs across our bodies. Now Date #17’s shorts are riding up and the only mantra running through my head is, “Great, now everyone can see my underwear too. And my cellulite!”
The class finally ends and Date #17 and I head to a little place called the Soy Café for—you guessed it—soy milk coffees. At least this part of my yuppie yoga fantasy has come true.
And as for the rest?
“How did you like the class?” Date #17 asks.
“It was great,” I reply, and aside from that thigh squeezing pigeon crap, I mean it. I’ve changed back into my boots and tunic and am carrying Date #17’s gym shorts and t-shirt. “I just wish I hadn’t spent the whole time exposing myself,” I add. “Your shirt kept getting tangled on my head during downward dog.”
He nodded. “Yeah, it does that to me too.”
“Yeah, but you’re a guy,” I insisted. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Kat,” he assured me, “I think the rest of us we’re too busy trying not to fall over to notice your bra.”
Hmm. Now why didn’t I think of that?