I stumbled upon her website via last month’s “Everything old is new again” obsession, the delightfully insightful and unbalanced Ms. Rosie O’Donnell, who got all linky wit it on her blog. I watched some of SP’s videos whilst at work on Monday (what? Me, slack?...Neve-...Ok, yeah, totally.) and immediately fell in love with her insanity. She’s kinda like the love child of my aunt Katika in Miami (who has undertaken more health crazes than Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod combined), a Jewish convert (they’re always waaaaaaaaay too into it, far more than those of us born into the tribe), and a Popple. My favourite video is a 5 minute diatribe on how to make a “sweet, simple, beautiful late night snack” of couscous, soy yogurt, orange segments, raisins and just a “touch of precious honey.” Highlight: “…and oranges, organic oranges. Oy vey, don’t even get me started on fossil fuels.” Could you die?
So the woman has set up in her house a yoga ‘den’, complete with webcam and mood lighting (LED, anyone?) and she has started building up an exercise programs for you, the home viewer. Every day or two she updates with a video showing the old moves as well as one or two new ones. So given my less than stellar attendance at the gym as of late (I know…) I decided to take her on. I laid out my yoga mat and commenced with The Program. It wasn’t all that difficult, although it did require a lot more balance than I normally request of myself. Still, kinda fun and she’s just so nuts even whilst directing you that it’s a good time.
Now here’s where it all goes wrong. Feeling absolutely tickled rainbow colours with myself, I decide that yoga should totally be my next thing. Knowing absolutely nothing on the subject other than basic pop culture knowledge, I rack my brains. This is what I conjure up: Madonna (she of the aforementioned biceps) chanted from the Ashtanga yoga mantra on the track Shanti/Ashtangi, and in the past year all I’ve heard about is Bikram/hot yoga, practiced in a 40 degree room. Ok, so I find a torrent for Ashtanga yoga, download a CD of appropriately electronic-kissed meditation music and before going to bed, crank up the radiator to high in the living room.In the morning, I awake before my alarm clock, so filled am I with yogaic anticipation. The living room is near-balmy 29 degrees. Good enough. I make myself some tea (Susan is always seen with a mug of liquid), hike up my silk pyjama pants to capri-level and boot up iTunes & Real Player. The gentleman in my video is about 50, balding like a mofo and wearing a Grimace-purple garment, but he’s ripped and not altogether creepy, so I, with a deep, spiritual breath, begin. I get through the introduction and about 8 Sun Salutations before I very moistely call it a day. The entire thing lasts a half an hour. It becomes clear that I will not be reaching yogi status this morning. I go over to the window and prop it open to let the heat escape while I enjoy a small, meditative breakfast and proceed to place my hand on the still-scalding radiator and burn myself quite nicely. I turn off the radiator. I make a mental note to reverse these steps in the future. I go to the bathroom to find that the flop sweat pouring down my forehead has turned blue-grey from the previous night’s hair dying adventure. I ruin a towel. I go to the kitchen to prepare the motherf#^$ing meditative breakfast, settling on an espresso and a bagel with a schmear of cream cheese. What, I can’t be a Jewish yogi? I go to the bedroom to remove the dewey silk pyjama bottoms and replace them with dry boxer-briefs before returning (via the Sahara-esque living room) to the kitchen. I lean on the stove. I spill the coffee across the stove, into the burners, and mostly on my underwear. Clearly a sign from Vishnu that orange juice would be a more appropriate beverage. It is in this moment that the previous day’s workout with Susan decides to hit me, instantly making every muscle ache and limiting my range of motion by approximately 98%.
I am in pain from muscle soreness and multiple yoga-related burns, my face is streaked with grey and my apartment is such a disaster zone that while at work today I submitted multiple relief assistance applications to both FEMA and the Red Cross.
FEMA’s thinking on it.