It was, as evenings go, a cold and snowy one. We were late, and The Nameless One, so named as she must not be named, was slightly vexed. We could not permit ourselves to be one of THOSE inconsiderate people who arrived late to yoga.
Were we to permit this to happen to us, we would be bad.
Through a hazardously blinding snowstorm, we raced to the Yogateria, that hallowed hall of harrowing contortions. We entered the main cavern silently, for one is better advised to make noise in a public library than in a yoga chamber of silent horrors. To our surprise, there were only a couple of penitents laying prostrate on the floor, whose hidden sins surely weighed mightily upon their dark souls.
I lay down, oblivious to the peril into which we had placed ourselves. Thankfully, The Nameless One was not so naive and innocent. She, scarcely to be heard above a silent breath, whispered to me, “We may be in a dirty studio.”
A dirty studio is good if one is dirty dancing or partaking in other forms of debauchery. On the other hand, a dirty studio is bad if one indulges in the yogic arts of contortion and twisted self-suffering in recompense for one’s evil masculine existence. I was bathing on a floor coated with the wicked perspiration of sin that had been sweated out of the previous collection of spandex clad convicts of conscience. I was unclean, only more so, a lost moral leper looking for his colony of sin and suffering.
As the yoga janitor came in, we rolled up our mats and headed to the other, smaller cavern of yogic contortions. We were almost late – perish the thought! There were but two spots left for us two sinners at the front of the dark and somber room, spots which were right in front of The Wall of The Mirrors of Shame. The two spots were separated by two spots in between, and in the darkness I spied the silhouette of the two lithe spandex clad penitents on those two spots awaiting their torturous absolution.
As I drew near to my spot, the place of my soon-to-be future trial by agony, my eyes discerned the nature of the two spandex yoga warrior princesses frozen prone in anticipation of what was to come. Next to me was Muffy the High School Cheerleader. Sans pom poms, no less. Perhaps one day she would be old enough to get her driver’s licence.
Next to The Nameless One was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And Sweet Mother of our Blessed Redeemer, what a tattoo it was! It was a sultry tattoo. It was an evil tattoo. The wicked worm’s wanton head was worn clearly visible between shoulder blades laid bare by the heathen and slightly open-back Lulu Lemon spandex top of sin that its malevolent mistress wore, which should have been a size two, but was a size four, as this apparently is how one sizes said sinful Lulu Lemon tops, not that I would know. Where the dragon’s tail ended, I could not see and did not want to know for fear of my sinful soul’s lost salvation.
I sensed I was in immediate danger. Surely I could be sent to prison for doing yoga next to one so young. I gazed about the room, nonchalantly, innocently surveying the male yogateers. Perhaps one of them was an undercover cop. Were those guns in their pockets, or were they just happy to see me?
I did not wonder for long, as the High Priestess of Yoga entered the room and began the incantations to initiate the solemn rite of demonstrating excruciating male inflexibility. Upward dog, downward facing dog, chatterungha, cobra, and other names too horrible to mention, names known to strike fear into even the stoutest of male hearts.
I was no stranger to pain that evening. Nor was I to fear.
At one point we, for sins that must have been so great in some former life that they beggar the imagination, were in a contortion that mimicked Superman in full flight parallel to the ground and a stork standing on one leg in silent contemplation of its place in the universal scheme of things. In response to the unrelenting horror, my mind has thankfully forgotten the name of this pose, or at least it is very good at pretending it can’t remember. It was in this Superman-stork-from-hell position that my head was twisted to the right, towards Muffy the High School Cheerleader. God please, let there be police, no sirens, and no billy clubs!
As my gaze swept past Muffy the High School Cheerleader in the valiant but doomed attempt to preserve what little innocence I still possessed, whom did my eyes fall upon but The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Whereas I was a bulbous flying one-legged pickle barely leaned over from standing vertical in a mockery of the Superman-stork-from-hell position, she was herself vertical, but in the other direction. In the most unnatural and demonic act yet witnessed in the Yogateria, she, standing on her left leg, had her head on her left foot and her right leg extending straight to heaven in a flagrant act of inhuman heretical flexibility.
It did not go unnoticed.
I have spent many years on this Earth. And in these many years, I have gained insight into the mysterious ways of wily women. Women can have raging battles in plain sight, terrible battles, horrific battles, and all that men see are sweet smiles and innocent gestures and meaningless words. And so I recognized, to my horror, that what The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo had done was not just to offend decency, Heaven, and Earth with her display of spandex clad hubris.
No. What she had also done was thrown down the womanly gauntlet of yogic flexibility right in front of The Nameless One. It was more than a challenge.
It was a declaration of yoga war.
One challenges The Nameless One at one’s peril, and so did The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that horrible evening. The Nameless One may be ever-so-slightly past her glory years in terms of absolute yogic flexibility, but she is not helpless. She is the veteran of P-90x commando fitness bootcamp. She is a devoted acolyte of psychopath fitness warrior empress Betty Rocker. She is a veteran of the Toronto marathon. She cross country skis. And she does not fear girls with dragon tattoos.
It was a battle of unsurpassed violence, a battle replete with victories and defeats, a battle of wounds inflicted and sustained, a battle of grim determination and grim resolve beyond that of any male contest of arms.
And the men were oblivious to a man, with me the sole exception. They remained just happy to see me. Either that, or they really were police; one can never be certain of these sorts of things.
It was during the Sideways Starfish of Supreme Suppine Sorrow position that The Nameless One struck a telling blow, a mighty blow, a devastating blow, and the hubris of The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo was exposed in all of its fickle fragility, only then to be dealt the truly horrific mortal strike of the v-sit, as NO ONE out v-sits The Nameless One.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lay broken on the yoga floor, and the men were none the wiser. I was. I was a survivor of the Great Yoga War, my scars visible to no man but myself.
And with her lawful foe laying vanquished beside her, The Nameless One joined me in celebrating our emancipation from that hot and sweaty twisted Purgatory as the High Yoga Priestess spoke the long awaiting incantation of freedom.
* * * * *
Thus ends the Yogateria Chronicles saga. For the time being, anyways. The instalments are: