There is a fine line between pleasure and pain. In fact, I believe this is the masochist’s motto. And much like a masochist, I experienced a crossing of that line today at this new yoga class I tried. Marco, you ponytailed, tattooed yoga god, I don’t know who you are (or where your cabana boy minion came from), but I simultaneously fear you and want more of you.
This is what went down (and it proves that I will endure just about anything that is free)…
On this brisk autumn day today, I entered classroom number one. Classroom number one is two levels underground in Manhattan. So it’s soundproof, which provides an eerily wonderful escape from 3rd Avenue’s mayhem, but there is also no sunlight. And although I had never considered the implications of subterranean yoga beforehand, the circumstance was undeniable upon entering class. In lieu of natural light, or even artificial light that mimics natural light, the room is illuminated by a continuous circle of fluorescent tubing that covers the entire ceiling. The effect is similar to what one would experience doing yoga on the Starship Enterprise. And to further the spaceship-ness, the light has moods (in New York City even lights are moody!).
We started off class bathed in this unnatural, alien abduction-esque blue light, which slowly progressed to fuchsia then to pitch black as the longest ninety minutes of my life wore on. And somewhere between the blue and the pink is where the pain resided. Pain brought about by a sinister combination of the following:
1: I am out of shape. But whatever.
2: My yoga mat (which wasn’t my own, but pre-laid out in class in a cult death-preparatory manner) was slippery. I couldn’t keep my hands from slipping out from under my Down Dog for the life of me. So I had to use a towel on the front of my mat. Which just didn’t look cool.
3: The hot cabana boy was distracting me. He mussed my hair as he walked by me. What does that mean? It’s unnecessary touching, ya know.
4: The Sadistic Yogi, also known as “Marco.” At first, his torture was non-discriminating; we were all in it together. And in that misery loves company way, I could deal with that. But when Marco decided to make my shoulders (and the rest of my body) his personal mission, things got a bit hairy. Did you ever see that episode of ‘Friends’ where Chandler goes to Joey’s tailor and gets semi-molested? Well, Marco and that tailor must be related because he took similar liberties with my body (my temple!). Now, being the tough gal that I am, I dealt with the pain in what I considered an enormously brave manner. For example, when my sweat was continuously dripping into my right eyeball, when Marco had my shoulder coming out of its socket while Cabana Boy had my hamstrings reaching lengths they have never so much as dreamed possible, causing my to eye burn like it was immersed in a salt lick, did I scream or writhe in the agony that I was in? No, I didn’t. (thank you very much.) But then he went too far (too far being a relative term as he’d already gone too far already) and my right shoulder was in excruciating pain, which I could not endure, so I uttered (desperately, meekly) “That hurts,” to which Marco sternly responded “You’re fighting me.”
Ummm… YEAH I’M FIGHTING YOU. YOU’RE ATTACKING MY BODY, AND MY BODY IS NO FOOL. YOU’RE LUCKY I DON’T GO WOMEN’S SELF-DEFENSE ON YOUR ASS.” (Note: I said this all in my head, with oodles of spunk. In real life, I whimpered and moved my arm like an inch.”
When class was over, I considered sticking around to thank Marco for his attention, as I wasn’t in pain at all anymore – it felt good! But when Marco made eye contact with me, my instincts set in, and I scurried out the door. I swear I heard him crack his knuckles.