Thursday, March 26, 2009

The downward facing hot dog.

This being spring and all, I was toying with the idea of taking up something new and cardiovascular – like chain smoking, or nordic walking. I see nordic walkers all the time these days - at sea level. They seem to travel in packs, clicking and clacking all over downtown looking for alpenweiss or a Jägermeister bar. I bet they really piss off blind people, who had the idea way before there were nordic walking clubs, and Lululemon nordic walking bras.

Not wanting to invest in expensive equipment, like spring-loaded poles – I thought – yoga. Why not? I tried Ashtanga yoga a few years back, but caught a glimpse of myself upside down and it scared me to death. Plus I tend to shave my legs and armpits, and dab on perfume, all of which were karma killers in that particular lotus land. What finished me off though were my uncontrollable fits of laughter (and subsequent bladder control issues) when everyone else was silently searching for some hairy, inner peace. So I play tennis. You can get angry and hit things in tennis.

But, nowadays, they have something called HOT yoga. Apparently everyone who can't afford smokes or poles is doing it. So I thought, what the hell. I'll try anything once. So, I did what I always do before venturing into unfamiliar territory – a little research. This is what I discovered:

Moksha yoga is a series of yoga postures that sound to me like every other yoga, except they crank the heat and you sweat like a pig, er, detoxify. 

They start with a Savasana or "corpse" pose. You lie flat on your back with palms turned up and the feet slightly separated. They used to call that the missionary position, but it's been a while. While playing dead, you are suppose to allow expectations to fall away. My expecations all but left town years ago, so I am now confident this hot yoga is for me.

Next is Intention setting. Being aware of your breath or something. (Take Tic-Tacs) Here is where you also work on your abs, if you can find them. Carefully worded, Intention setting is "especially for those with a busy life". Nice try, but it sounds to me like this 'Intention setting' is aimed at the edge dwellers who just had a complete meltdown in the parking lot after beating the family dog with a hairbrush, just because he was the only one home. You know who you are.

Then the hotties move on to a bunch of standing poses that honestly, just sound like vacumning in those hard to reach places, like the attic. Or cleaning the gutters on a really hot day. 

The floor series still sounds like housework to me. Having thoroughly warmed the body in the standing series, you begin to open the hips and spine. Ah, it's like childbirth, or scrubbing the toilet. I am beginning to think if I'm going to end up sweaty on all fours I want to get a baby, a clean floor or least a nice dinner out of it. 

Finally, Savasana ends the class the way it began: lying flat on your back, soaked and thinking of England. Likely because you can't move after all that housework.

So, hot yoga may not be for me after all. Really, why would I pay $16 bucks, plus another $250 on yoga clothes, when I wake up almost every night soaked in sweat anyway.

Where did I put those old ski poles? 

Moksha Yoga Halifax is at 1512 Dresden Row, right across from Pete's Frootique. 
I have a really stressed out skinny friend who swears by it. Really.