Saturday, July 15, 2006

July 15, 2006
More oppressive heat. I heard in yoga class this morning it was 120 yesterday. I also had a realization in this morning’s class, about my role in life and perhaps my small-town upbringing (or, at least my constant excuses of being raised in Kingman).

First confession: I insist on getting to the damn yoga class early so I can claim a back corner. I don’t want anyone behind me looking at my stiff attempts at actually doing down dog anything.

Second: I hate it that women can bend their bodies into these ridiculous positions, because I’m naturally competitive and hate it when all the women in the class are bending down with their palms flat on the floor and I’m having trouble reaching the top of my socks (knee highs at that). I know, I know, all the yoga instructors say over and over, “Go at your own pace, don’t strain yourself,” but I can’t help it. Too many high school football, basketball and baseball warm-up sessions where the coaches yelled at us, “No pain! No gain!” and “Bell! Get your stomach down. You look like a god-damn pussy!” and “Boze, if you can’t do toe tappers and jumping jacks any better than that, the girl’s softball team is looking for a manager.” Oh, and "Grandma was slow, but she was old."

Hardy har har. Scarred for life? Oh, I think so.

Today, we had a different teacher than normal (family emergency), and the new gal (a blond from Maine with huge breasts) was taking us through some really difficult moves. I’m in the back, retreating into the “Pose of The Child” at the slightest excuse when the Maine-ster says, “Now we are going to try something a little more difficult. Has anyone heard of the Wheel?”

My wife, who is sitting to my left, answers enthusiastically, “Yes, I have always wanted to learn the Wheel. And I intend on doing it before I turn 95!” The whole class laughs and looks at Kathy with some admiration.

This really pisses me off, because, now everyone is looking, and the teacher just might actually come over and attempt to show her the Wheel

The teacher comes over. “Would you like me to help you?”

“Yes, please.” Kathy says without the slightest reservation.

Now the Wheel, for all you males who haven’t caved in yet, is basically a perverted down dog (a “down dog” is achieved by pushing up from the hands and knees position, or doggie style if you want to be crude about it, and, you push up on your fingertips and toes with an arced back), except in the wheel, it’s all inverted. You start on your back then arc up until only your hands and feet are touching the floor, and your backside resembles a wheel, or, at least, the top half of a wheel. I knew I could easily represent the bottom half of the wheel, if it had suddenly gone flat, but I wasn’t about to offer this suggestion, because she might make me show the whole class.

Meanwhile, the whole class watches intently as the teacher puts her feet on either side of Kathy’s head, then reaches over and grabs Kathy’s waist at the same time telling her to grab ahold of her (the Maine-ite’s) ankles. Kathy tries it, struggling at first to get into position. She can’t quite do it, but the class is rooting her on, and finally, with her hips and tummy quivering, she arcs up and holds the pose for five seconds. The class erupts in cheers and clapping.

I didn’t clap because, well, I didn’t want anyone to see me, curled up under the rolled up mats in the corner.

How much of this is a guy thing, I don’t know, but I do know one thing: If I allow this to keep happening, I just may have to turn in my Man Card.

“It was thought effeminate by the Arabs to carry a provision of food for a little journey of one hundred miles.”
—T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), describing a camel journey across the Arabian desert

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