Hot Hot Yoga

They ain’t kiddin’ when they call it hot.  Hot Yoga is just that. Hot. Hot. Hot.  They don’t mention the humidity, though.  Very smart.

Truth be told, I hate hot yoga.   I love/hate it.  An oxymoronic statement, I know, but so is jumbo shrimp but everybody still says it.

I’ve been torturing myself for years and still can’t do certain asanas like locust pose. Now I know why they named it after a biblical plague.

During recent practice – we yoginis call yoga “practice” rather than workout so gotta stay in character here even though it’s sharking the culture of others and calling it our own, a uniquely American tradition – I had just finished struggling with my nemesis pose, frustrated, sweating profusely and turning my yoga towel into a modern day Shroud of Turin when a fellow student I’ll call Becky, began ignoring our very patient instructor.  It became increasingly annoying. The incident went a bit like this very short screenplay entitled Becky the Mouth Breather: 

FADE IN:

INT. Y0GA STUDIO – DAY

The studio was at its maximum hellish temperature, packed with sweaty students. Salabhasana had just ended and students were attempting to stave off heat stroke with measured in/out nose breathing…except for BECKY the Mouth Breather. She was taking in air through her nose (loudly) and expelling a virtual air tsunami through her mouth.

INSTRUCTOR:

Becky, please calm your breath. Remember, in through your nose and out through your nose.

BECKY the Mouth Breather:

I’m pranayama breathing.

INSTRUCTOR:

That was our first deep breathing pose. Please focus now on your measured breathing.

Becky continues with her giant sucking sounds as the rest of the class tries to pretend they don’t hear it.

INSTRUCTOR:

Please, Becky.  Do your best to breath normally.

The air tsunami continues to fill the room but our patient instructor keeps her cool.

INSTRUCTOR:

In through the nose, out through the nose.  Focus on the breath as you calm yourself.

Becky ignores her, yet again, continues her goldfish-out-of-water imitation.

Finally, a frustrated student who will remain nameless has had enough.

FRUSTRATED STUDENT:

Yo, Becky! Shut your goddamn cake hole and breathe through your schnoz! This is a ZEN space, goddamn it!

Well, unnamed student didn’t say it out loud. She was just using her third eye, that place of intuition and insight,  to envision the potential of what could be.

 

 

The Dangers Of Being Fit

I walk my dog a lot. It’s great exercise and since I’m constantly reading about how I’m going to die earlier rather than later or suffer from excess belly fat and lethargy if I don’t stay fit, I have decided to hedge my bets.  I’m not convinced my dog is happy about this.  I motor along at the speed of sound which is not conducive to letting him sniff every blade of grass or peeing 112 times in 45 minutes.  It is far from a leisurely stroll but there are only so many hours in a day and I’m a profuse multi-tasker.

So the other day as I was race-walking along with my possibly pissed off dog , basking in the glory of the magnificent, powerful Northern California coastline when something caught my eye. It was a sign placed just above a rocky cliff that dropped off into the roiling, crashing waves of the Pacific.  I have sped by it a zillion times before but never actually stopped to read it.  For some reason, at that very moment, I thought it proper to take the time to give it a closer look. After all,  someone took the time to put it there and maybe it’s something I need to know.

DANGER!

Hmmm.  Better read further because danger sounds pretty dangerous to me.

“The coastline is naturally dynamic….”

Oh. My. God. Really?!

“Crashing waves and crumbling cliffs….”

Okay, I can see that. It’s right in front of me and therefore, by default, obvious, right?

“Rocks are slippery…’

Yes, they certainly are!  They’re covered with green, slippery moss and slimy kelp and seaweed.

I read on….

blah, blah, blah something-something about “waves sweeping people off their feet”… yadda, yadda…”swept out to sea”…

And I start to go all cynical and laugh out loud at the absurdity of the warning. But then I remembered the importance of warnings. I mean, how else is one supposed to know they need to “STOP and remove frozen dinner from package” before placing it in the microwave? Or that you shouldn’t attempt to drive a back-hoe after taking a sleeping pill? Warnings are important, folks!  Im-port-ant!

But what about dangers for which there are no warning signs?

Like the unexpected ingestion of a flying insect?

Yeah, it sounds gnarly. I can assure you it is.

But it happens.

And it happened to me.

Just after I read the coastal warning. It was cosmic payback, I’m convinced.

It was also shocking and disgusting. Not to mention humiliating.  It happened in front of a busload of Korean tourists.  Perhaps they have a cultural aversion to seeing an otherwise respectable-looking woman hacking and spitting in public because they were clearly horrified. Mothers grabbed their children and fled for the safety of the tour bus.  Men covered their eyes, turned away jabbering in a language I couldn’t understand but the tone   was unmistakable disgust.

Doesn’t look like you can count on a Korean to come to your aid when you’re hacking up a   foreign object. Maybe the Heimlich is strictly an American thing?  I don’t know but  whatever the reason, don’t count on them in an emergency. That’s all I’m sayin’.

So I was on my own.  I had to rid my mouth of this winged interloper before it went any further….which it did.

I just had to, you know, swallow.

There!  I said it. I ate a bug with wings, okay?

The remainder of my walk-of-shame was spent looking at the ground, the brim of my baseball call pulled down on my forehead like a quasi-windshield.

And I altered my breathing.

In through the nose, out through the mouth, NOT the other way around. What was I thinking? Did I learn nothing in Bikram yoga?

IN through the nose. OUT through the mouth. IN through the nose. OUT through the mouth.

No need to thank me. Just don’t speed walk with your mouth open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I. AM. IRONMAN….not really

This weekend was the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, HI.

It just so happens that we’re in Kona.

Just to be clear….I am not in the competition.

There are many, many very fit people here in Kona.

Just to be clear…I am not one of them.

Yeah…I can run a mile if I’m being chased by a homicidal maniac but generally, I prefer yoga and a brisk walk.

And on one such brisk walk pre-Ironman, I encountered a few of these very fit folks.

One in particular is single-handed responsible for damn-near ruining my vacation.

She was spectacular.

Tan.

Off-the-charts fit, running in ubershort shorts and a tight running top (sans bra fat spillover).

Washboard abs.

No visible sign of perspiration.

Nothing whatsoever jiggled.

She smiled cheerfully.

I shuffled past, my iPod ear buds barely able to stay put in my profusely sweating ears (yes, ears CAN sweat, smartasses).

I briefly considered shoving her into the razor-sharp lava rock minefield we were passing by…but….

…pity took over.

My hatred evaporated.

What might life be devoid of M & Ms and Vodka?

Oh, what a sad, sad, existence.

I minded my business and let her be…poor, poor deprived creature.

I thought about her many times as I sat on the beach, swathed in a sheet (two eyes cut out, of course), sunning my feet.

Who needs rock-hard abs when you’ve got a good pedicure, right?