When I tell people I’ve been practicing yoga, they usually want to know what kind. “Hatha? Vicram?”
Or in the case of my landlord, “Nude?”
“No… Gym management frowns on that type of thing.”
He looked at me like I was an imposter. “I’ve never done it any other way.”
People don’t know this about me, but I’m a prude. I wouldn’t describe myself as a never-nude, but I’m in the vicinity. Just thinking about a room of naked men bending over in unison made my glands shudder.
“That can’t be hygienic,” I said.
“Haven’t you ever had a blowjob in a sauna?”
He had me there. Now I felt obligated to try it.
Every class I’ve ever signed up for, I secretly hope I’ll meet a guy only to immediately banish the thought so as not to jinx it. Nude yoga was no exception. I wondered if it wasn’t bad karma to cruise the line; at least I would be saved the effort of imagining them naked.
Once inside the studio my biggest dilemma was whether to take off my clothes before or after I found a spot for my mat. I didn’t want to seem territorial but I didn’t want to do a Jessica Simpson video either.
Naked on my mat, I sat in a half lotus position waiting for the class to begin, mentally repeating my mantra: “Please don’t fart-ohm.”
There have been times at yoga when I’ve caught my reflection in the mirror and asked myself, “Who’s that old fat guy in the wife beater?” But nude I was transformed into DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man.
I often joke that if I could suck my own cock there would be no need to leave the house; a couple more sessions and you might never see me again.
Halfway through the class we were on our stomachs with our chests, arms and legs arched towards the ceiling. The floor pattern swirled beneath my chin like tiny cyclones as the neon sign for the Two Parrots ascended in the window.
For a brief second, it felt like I was part of a flock of naked men flying through the night sky.
Once a class I’ll get discouraged and want to give up yoga forever but I’ve learned that if I just breathe through it the feeling will pass. It never ceases to amaze me when it does. This city could benefit from a few deep breaths.
“Gross!” said a friend when I told him. I tried to explain my feeling of flight; that my landlord was right — we were doing yoga all wrong. He would have none of it.
“What’s the point of Lululemon then?” he said.
What’s the point indeed.