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The Yogateria Chronicles: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

1 Feb
Nav was not always this svelte and handsome. Credit: Deepak, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yogisculpture.JPG

Nav was not always this svelte and handsome.
Credit: Deepak, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yogisculpture.JPG

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.”

Good heavens.

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.

Close enough

Close enough

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 wondered.

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.

OMG.

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.

Namaste.

* * * * *

Thus ends the Yogateria Chronicles saga. For the time being, anyways. The instalments are:

 Nav in Dante’s Yogateria

The Yogateria Chronicles: A Sinister Danger

The Yogateria Chronicles: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Guiding the way through the horrors of hot yoga

The Yogateria Chronicles: A Sinister Danger

9 Jan
Actual unretouched photo of Yogi Nav. Credit: Deepak, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yogisculpture.JPG

Actual unretouched photo of Yogi Nav.
Credit: Deepak, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yogisculpture.JPG

There comes a time in every man’s life when he must confront his conscience. We, as men, walk through our journey of life, and in the corner of our minds we see haunting reflections of what should have been, much as one’s eyes catch glimpses of reflections walking past a shop window, ethereal ghosts a silent testament to wrong paths chosen along the way.

It is now, at a point that is near the half way point of my life, but which is not the half way point of my life, a life that has seen both sorrow and joy, defeat and triumph, and paucity of rum and a plethora thereof, that I can no longer run from the truth of my actions, actions which I told myself were justified, but that were in fact not.

I Photoshopped the above image of myself. I am not the paragon of yogic splendour that you see portrayed.

My body, which is a male body, and a large male body and not a small male body, small bodies weighing much less than large bodies as a general rule, has a shape. It is a shape which is not a typical shape, and it is a shape which does not lend itself to the practice of yoga let alone its perfection, nor does it lend itself to tying one’s shoes, nor any other activity in the realm of human affairs that has, as a fundamental attribute, the requirement to bend.

It is characterized by a large head, of a stature which does not just invite being characterized as large, but rather demands to be decreed as massive in proportion to the rest of me. At the other end are thunderous thighs that can barely hold the glorious bulk of me, beast that I am, aloft at the best of times. There is also, of course, the ponderous belly necessary to hold the great caloric reserves demanded by such a large head and struggling legs. All of which are complimented by stubby little arms that can barely reach one another, let alone any other part of me.

Actual unretouched image of my head. Human silhouettes for comparison purposes.

Actual unretouched image of my head. Human silhouettes for comparison purposes.

It is thus, having purged my soul of its uncleanliness, in much the same way as the Ancient Mariner rid himself of the albatross hung around his sun scorched neck, that I can now convey to any who stumble across these humble words the next chapter in the yogateria chronicles.

My first exposure to yoga, which nearly cost me my life, left me older, wiser, lighter by at least 50 lbs, and more flexible. Rumour has it that in Ottawa the next day, lithe 20-something’ish female business professionals were all discussing the great yoga scandal of 2014, being both scandalized AND mortified at the great transgression that had transpired. “OMG, he didn’t! He said ‘Butter chicken’ in response to namaste? That’s very bad. That’s terrible. He could be banned.”

The first yoga was candlelight hot yoga. It happened on a Sunday night. Like the fool that I am, I decided to do interval training on an elliptical machine the next day, the next day being the Monday, a day of penance for my great yogateria transgression. Penance for my penance, perhaps, as one who has uttered the blasphemous “butter chicken” cannot be penitent enough.

Thus cleansed, I could go to my second foray in the now semi-sacred yogateria on the Tuesday. I did go, but I did not go alone. Accompanying me was The Nameless One, so named as she may not be named. It again was hot yoga, but not of the candlelight variety, for such variety is to only be found during the sacred calm of the Sunday eve. This was to be of the fully lit variety, with all my fellow penitents in full view.

My suffering was of a similar nature. I need not recount the unnatural contortions to which my poor body, a body which is not small and does not bend of its own free will, was repeatedly subjected to. It goes without saying.

Despite all the suffering of the supplicant spandex-clad sinners who so densely populated the dungeon floor, suffering greater than any soul should have to bear throughout an eternity, it is not the pain and suffering of that evening which even now pervades my every waking thought.

It was when The Nameless One said, upon exiting Dante’s hot yogateria, “Did you see the one with the cute boy shorts?”

I sensed danger. Not the obvious danger of the majestic lion poised to pounce on its doomed prey, nor the less obvious danger of the frozen outstretched crocodile’s jaw about to snap shut on its hapless victim. It was a sinister danger, made even more sinister by the innocence with which it portrayed itself.

It was a trap.

For, as with the name of The Nameless One, the young lady of the conformal spandex boy shorts too had a name. She, clearly being of the line of the progeny of Helen of Troy, yet not being an ordinary descendent of said lineage, but rather a spandex clad descendent, and a scantily clad and flexible one at that, deserved a name. Her name was not a normal name, but a name of grace, of classical grace and not contemporary grace, a name that history will forever record. Her name was The Bottom that Launched a Thousand Ships.

A woman will test her man. She will test her man while seeming to not test her man. It will be a subtle test, such as innocently wondering if he had noticed The Bottom that Launched a Thousand Ships, who happened to be downward dogging directly in front of him in a brilliantly lit and sultry room for the excruciating duration of 60 minutes.

A younger man will not understand that he is being tested, and will stumble into the trap laid for his demise. Not so an older and wiser man. And so, being not young and therefore older and wiser, I did what I must do, for a man must do what he must do.

I lied.

It was not a little white lie, nor was it even a little lie. Yet is was not an outrageous lie either, as older and therefore wiser men know that such lies are just as likely to spring the cunning trap as is the ignorance of youth. It was thus an in between lie, it being between the little lie and the outrageous lie in terms of the injury caused to that most noble lady, Truth.

Thus, in fear for my life far more than for my soul, I replied, “No, I was too busy focussing on my balance.”

It is thus only by the grace of God and my own quick wit that I survived my second foray into Dante’s hot yogateria. It would not be my last. For in my next decent into Dante’s yogateria, I encountered…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

compass rose