My sisters and I have taken up yoga. Hot yoga, that is. The room is heated to 104 degrees which I love although sometimes I feel like I'm going to pass out. That's what exercise should feel like, yeah?
It is relaxing and excruciating and fabulous all at once. It forces you to focus and balance and sweat your brains out. But I think the hardest part for me is to hold in the giggles. Because, people, there are some strange birds in yoga classes.
Should you ever decide to try hot yoga, and I highly recommend you do, there are a few characters I must warn you about. I'm assuming these characters show up at all hot yoga studios throughout the nation and you need to be warned that they will be there and they will make you giggle.
1) The Speedo Man. Sometimes old and leathered, sometimes young and gay. Sometimes tanned and toned, they always make my day. I don't know why I started rhyming there but they really do make my day because they are just so ridiculous. This guy is putting himself out there...ALL out there and it's a bit distracting. Check that. It's very distracting. We're holding our bodies in strange positions and when I'm supposed to be focusing on myself in the mirror, I feel like a perv because I can't help but steal glances at his junk. Stop judging me; it's like a car accident- how could you NOT look?
2) The Snarky Lady. Aka "the studio b#%ch." We're supposed to be all "humanity is great" and "heal the world, make it a better place" but then there's one lady who looks peaceful on the outside but is a bona fide bee- autch on the inside. I happened to be next to her on my very first day. She scoffed when people didn't whisper softly enough and rolled her eyes so much I would have thought she was in the 8th grade if not for her dorky attire involving mens board shorts. I was terrified of pissing her off and had to turn away to do a shoulder-shaking laugh when the Speedo Man walked by her and a giant drop of sweat fell from his legs and splashed right on her face. He didn't even notice her fuming but I sure did. That's what you get, snarky lady.
3) The Sweater. Speaking of sweat, holy moly, some people have pores that are OUT OF CONTROL. And this is coming from me- an extreme sweater. Poor Heidi was stuck behind the sweater last night. They come in all shapes and sizes but this guy was a cross between Richard Simmons and Arnold (as in the former governor, not the cartoon football head). By the end of the session, it looked like there was a moat around his mat. His hair and body were so soaked that when he turned, sweat flew off and hit Heidi. Don't worry, contrary to how it may sound, getting hit by sweat isn't a normal occurrence. Just try to avoid the sweater.
4) The Circus Performer. Typically tiny. Typically Asian. Typically women. They will make you gawk and stare and feel a tad self-conscious as they move their bodies in ways no human ever should.
5) The European. You will know this person by their strange attire, strange accent, or strange social customs. Heidi nicknamed our European "the hawk" because she sits in the front and turns and stares at everyone else in the room. It is weird. Maybe this is normal in Europe but the rest of us are trying very hard to check everyone out DISCREETLY. Her open staring is unnerving.
6) The Jiggler. Bravo for coming to yoga but I'm not going to sit next to you or I will be very distracted by your jiggling body parts.
7) The Granola. You'll probably find at least 3 of these in each session. They are usually very pale, very peaceful, and very into yoga. The guys typically have hair too long that is tied back with tie-dyed hair bands and they aren't exactly "muscular." They often have odd patches of chest hair that I can't help but internally mock while I'm holding my tree pose.
8) The Loud Breather. If you haven't been to a hot yoga session, let me explain. You begin the class with five minutes of breathing. We're talking Darth Vader breathing. We're all supposed to breath like that so it's normal. But there's always at least one, typically large male, who didn't get the memo that after the breathing exercises, we go back to breathing through our noses. Dude, if I'm on the other side of the room, I don't want to hear your bedroom-breathing.
Anyone who has done yoga, hot or not, can you think of any other characters you find in these studios? Who did I forget?