Yoga Class, Deconstructed

February 5, 2015 — 115 Comments

Yoga_at_a_Gym 9


It had been six weeks since I’d been able to breathe, six weeks since the blow to my chest had left my heart charleyhorsed with leftover ache and my lungs restricted. I was living the emotional equivalent of that hackneyed action movie scene, the one where the heroine has been underwater far too long. Just when you think she’s going to die she slashes through the surface and grabs air in big lusty gulps.

I was drowning in several different versions of the truth, all of them weighing me down like kettlebells tied to my ankles.

I had neglected my yoga practice for months. My once limber body had gone stiff, the way Skittle colored Play Doh starts out with the best intentions and gradually dries up, never living up to its full potential.

It dessicates, morphing into the humorless version of itself. Hard, but incredibly easy to crack.

I wished I was doing anything else except a practice whose apparel has become literally the butt of endless online stories. I resent seeing people everywhere refer to “leggings” as “yoga pants.” Those aren’t “driving gloves” unless you regularly wrap them around a steering wheel.

Yoga was not meant to be fashion and if you’ve never worn those pants while doing an inversion, just refer to them as leggings and I can end this paragraph a little less exasperated.

So I went to a Saturday afternoon yoga class; not just any yoga, but hot yoga, which, for the uninitiated, means doing advanced poses in a sauna. A room heated to 104 degrees, with humidity at 40%. I dread it. But I’m convinced it’s the only way to flush out the toxins that have been doing the Foxtrot through my bloodstream since those poison darts leapt off the computer screen and took aim at my heart.

And I’m clinging fiercely to the idea that I’ll have a yoga-induced spiritual epiphany that explains why I choose relationships which reinforce just how little I think I deserve.

Or at least lose a few pounds.

After the teacher chants and instructs us to leave all our earthly possessions at the door, we begin in downward dog, or in my case, sweaty dog panting from heat.

The teacher leads us in a series of sun salutations that get progressively faster and more complicated and I get in touch with why the phrase “hot as hell” was coined. I played yogi slip n slide in my own perspiration and I mull over the possibility that the organs of my body can actually become steamed.

I look at myself in the mirror, a vain counter-yogic move, and in triangle pose notice the cute guy behind me staring at my ass. I’ve noticed him noticing me before; I’ve heard people chat with him and his name is either Don or Jon; it’s hard to be certain in a room constantly waterlogged in sweaty acoustics.

Today, though, I obsess over the sweat droplets that have come together for an impromptu party in my ass crack and wonder if he can see them through the stretched-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life Lycra that covers my butt. And after I shower and dress and check my phone, he’s still lingering around the front of the yoga center. Which can only mean that he’s waiting for ME.

And he is. Don/Jon approaches me and suggests coffee at the Dunkin Donuts next door and I go. I go because it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon in January, and because my kid is with his father; and because I’m high from having pushed my body to its limits and from fresh blood flow;  I go because I like Don/Jon’s puppy doggish exuberance and his obvious pursuit of me – but mostly, I go because I love coffee.

I really love coffee.

My caffeine addiction is the only one I have that hasn’t pushed my dreams off a cliff. I’ve never risked my life for coffee. Not that I wouldn’t; it’s just that one doesn’t have to cruise questionable neighborhoods to procure coffee.

Up close and away from the curtain of steam that blurs everything in the room, Don/Jon is really cute. Lithe, sinewy yoga body aside, he has great hair, a sexy smile and  a killer sense of humor.

I’m not typically attracted to men who do yoga. Every downward douche I’ve ever seen in a yoga class has ended up hooking up with one of the women in the class. It’s why they GO. But I like the idea that I accepted his invitation; that I’m not so jaded that I can’t still occasionally surprise myself.

Coffee talk stretches into late afternoon and I’m surprised to see that its getting dark out. And surprised even more when Don/Jon asks if I’d like to try a Mexican restaurant near his house that he says makes the freshest Pico de gallo this side of Guadalajara. And killer Margaritas, although I don’t really drink.

But I did that evening.

Tequila augments my natural flirtiness and my insecurities are alcohol soluble. I feel attractive because I can feel that he feels attracted to ME. Which is less like an Escher painting than it sounds.

I get tipsy, which shuts off some of the noise in my brain but turns on other noise. We bond over our love for movies, and music, and Breaking Bad, which he talks me into watching at his house.

We end up back at his townhouse, where he makes us more Margaritas and now I am drunk. He has an enormous cozy plush grey couch which looks like a big blimpy manatee, and I sink into the Netflix imprint his butt left in the corner cushion.

Predictably, he starts to kiss me and I haven’t decided how attracted I am to him. But I’m drunk and cozy and sunk into his manatee couch, and at the moment I’d rather kiss him back then push my tequilla-drenched ass into the frosty night.

I hate the cold.

We have 20 minutes of nondescript sex and afterwards he winds around me like a broken slinky.  And I’m thinking I’d like to leave before the sweat dries. Which makes me sound like a sport-fucking man-eater, but it’s really just a way I avoid feeling anything for anyone, and has a high success rate.

I often fantasize about creating an actuarial model using statistics to determine the probability of various romantic risks based on the engagement or avoidance of certain behaviors, and the emotional consequences of those risks. Assign value to certain behaviors and develop mathematical models to evaluate the future romantic implications of, say, performing various sex acts. Or cuddling after. Leaving, or staying the night.

I stay. I don’t want to come off like bitch. I’m anything but a bitch.

I just play one on the Internet.

He falls asleep and I lay there with his arm draped across me, heavy as a fallen tree limb and I stare at the ceiling and write this blog post in my head.

Until about 6:00 am, when dawn’s first light streaks across the sky and I noiselessly hurry to leave, like a vampire in reverse. I get dressed and gather my things and tip toe out, leaving him asleep.

I feel like a ninja escaping into the bruise-colored dawn. I make a clean getaway

I think about him one more time as I pull into my driveway; just once more so I can leave him outside and that’s when it occurs to me, I never found out if his name is Don or Jon. Which bothers me less than the fact that I’m going to have to find a new yoga studio.


I don’t have any specific questions. I’m just glad you’re here.
Talk to me.   I’m listening.

115 responses to Yoga Class, Deconstructed


    I’m glad you’re here, too 🙂
    Your writing (you!) makes me smile and think and feel. I know I always sound like a needy groupie when I comment, but I’m a fan for life.

    On another note… I went to hot yoga for the first time last night and it didn’t even come close to the result your class produced! Of course, I made have been in trouble if it did 😉


      You don’t sound like a needy groupie! You sound like a supportive blogger.

      I don’t think hot yoga is supposed to produce that result. Only when mixed with tequila. 🙂


    I went to hot yoga once, too. It’s definitely a different way to experience yoga and one I’d enjoy at certain times, but these days I’m more into the calmer versions of yoga. As for the rest, Don, Jon, what’s the difference? The mental gymnastics you went through post-sex describe well what I go through after engaging in the naked pretzel with my wife. Odd.


      The “naked pretzel?” I’m stealing that!
      So post coitus, you think about ways to leave? That can’t be what you meant…


        Not necessarily how I can physically leave, but …. well it’s a long story and difficult to explain. 😉 Your description just kind of hits home with the confusion I feel after the naked pretzel.


    Hot yoga? WTF? I come from the land of yoga. Dude, my people invented yoga. Hot yoga is hogwash. A steaming pile of crap, if you will.

    But then it actually produced some results for you, so I’ll just shut up here and cheer for you! 😛


      Hot yoga is a made up thing, then, isn’t it? Like “Mother’s Day.”

      A steaming pile of crap. That’s actually how I felt, through most of it.


    Well, one, I’m glad I can legitimately call them yoga pants even if my yoga is from an app on my phone.

    Second, glad you can still surprise yourself. That must have been some damn good coffee/tequila.

    Third, I am imagining you as a stealth ninja – and I like it. 😉


    I love you, and I know you’re good, but I’d lay odds you couldn’t get me to do yoga! Rd


    I loved this. I don’t do yoga, but have always wanted to. I’ve never been, in my mind, thin enough to wear those skin tight pants, but yearned for an ass that would stop traffic, which is usually what the asses that wear those pants can do. So I’m jealous of you for that, firstly. This reminds me of the times before I was married, I was young when I had my son, me and his father were not a couple, it was a one night stand. But I was single until he was 2. I remember that very strange, almost indescribable feeling when i pulled into my driveway at 7 in the morning after a night like this. It didn’t happen that often, but often enough to fully understand and recognize the feeling it gave me. It makes a “morning” completely different. I don’t know how to explain it, but…. I really related to this. Being sure to leave before I got my feelings going, and ran away so as to never have to face the person I let my guard down with…


      Yes. I have so many feelings, TOO many. I try and hide from them when I can.

      And my ass ain’t so great these days! But fuck it. I’ll stuff it into yoga pants anyway. Not everyone is lithe and cellulite free.


    Another really fine piece of writing. It’s funny how my first instinct though is one of protection. I want to tell you to please be careful. Strange men in strange houses and all that. And I know this sounds paternal and probably a little patronizing but I can’t seem to turn that aspect of my character off. I’ve often thought about trying yoga but never actually got around to the doing part.


      Thank you for feeling protective. He’s not really a total stranger; everyone knows him and knows of him. Of course, that doesn’t mean he ‘s not a friggin lunatic! I was married to someone who is a complete lunatic!

      Paternal is just fun, John. It feeds right into all my Daddy issues. 🙂


    I wonder if you (and jon/don?) intentionally sabatoaged your chance at a possible good relationship by taking it so far so fast. An hour or two coffee date would have been a nice step-and given you a chance to decide if you want a second step. I suspect if you stuck to you ‘i don’t usually drink’, the outcome may have been different too.??
    I enjoyed reading this- and best wishes on a new studio!


      I don’t know about him, but I intentionally sabotaged it, that’s for sure! I just got out of a really crappy marriage so I’m not ready to be with anyone in any sort of meaningful way.

      Thanks for reading! I’m so glad you stopped by!!




    I want to know if you see Don/Jon again… I want to know if there ARE feelings that you may allow to rise up in you. I want to know if there was a moment of fulfillment to be in someone’s arms – was it safe? Was it scary? Was it burdensome and annoyingly uncomfortable because the emotional scale was 0? Or was it tingly and taunting you to touch that tender piece of you, buried deep within?

    I want to know more…


    This is beautiful. You are SO talented…


    Everyone else is talking about the yoga and all I can think is you need to go back for a sequel because I want to know what his name is! 🙂


    You’re really gonna give up your yoga studio just because of a guy?


    I have been blessed with acute and overactive sweat glands and sweat just by breathing, so I can’t imagine being in a HOT YOGA class. Plus, my hair!

    The only men I’ve ever seen in my gentle yoga classes would never have been able to look at my butt because they were blind, ancient and incontinent! 🙂

    What if Don/Jon finds the same new yoga studio?


      Let’s hope Don/Jon isn’t LOOKING for a new studio.

      Hot yoga does wreak havoc on the hair! But I don’t like the sound of the men in your class. I was okay, until the “incontinent” part. Eww.


    I love reading your posts. It matters not to me the content as I know it will be amazing. Somehow, I don’t see you pining away for Don/Jon, sitting alone in Dunkin Donuts with a hot cup of coffee, reliving the moments of becoming familiar and relishing the possibility he may walk through the door (because you would look way to slutty going back to class – basiclaly asking for more, lol) while you nibble on a cinnamon almond scone. Nah, I prefer to think you left him outside, realizing there wasn’t much to actually bring inside your home or your heart. I’m cycical; I question his sinewy body and taut ass being in that class to being with!

    You never disappoint, Samara!! ❤


      I don’t picture it either, mostly because if I’m eating something in Dunkin Donuts, it’s going to be a goddamn DONUT, not some frou frou scone!!

      Thank you for always being so supportive, and reading and commenting. I’m so glad you do.


    I think a good day with a nondescript broken slinky reverse vampire ending is exactly what you need. It’s a moment in time that reality didn’t have a chance to screw up.


    Hot yoga sounds like a nightmare. I hope it worked for you in the way you wanted it to.

    I remember (my only experience at) a spa once, where there was an incredible sauna, and the air was so crisp and bamboo-scented it felt like I should be able to bite great mouthfuls of it, all nutty and hot and sweet. And next door, there was a menthol steam room, which I liked more, because all the steam got into my lungs and I felt like I was really breathing, even as I sat there and got too hot, and I couldn’t tell whether what was running off me was salt or mint, but I knew that the sluice in the shower afterwards would be DIVINE.

    Glad you got to enjoy coffee, at least.


      I always enjoy coffee. I’m on my second cup already.

      Spas are wonderful. Haven’t done them much, but what I have, I liked. Maybe we’ll go to one together next fall?? Might be incredible. Certainly something to write about. 🙂


    The ONLY yoga class I have ever been to was hot yoga – which my friend failed to mention before she brought me.

    I ran out of the class halfway through to vomit. NOT sexy. I think only you could make hot yoga sexy. And maybe Jennifer Lawrence.


    I can relate to that! Leaving because you DON’T want to develop feelings. Aaargh! Why can’t women just have meaningless sex like most men?

    Annyywhho, I love coffee tooooooo much.

    Good luck finding a new yoga center!


      Why can’t we? I don’t know. Sex just isn’t all that meaningless to me, no matter who I have it with.
      Ahhh, coffee. It’s the best relationship I have.


        I don’t know either. It would be better if it we learned to have it without getting all senti.

        Coffee ❤


    The things that go through your mind — in yoga class, while having coffee, in the midst of being nuzzled into a giant manatee-like sofa by Don/Jon — are why I love you and your writing, Samara. Although I have to say, as tempting as it sounds to be in your class, firefighting is as close to hot yoga as I’ll probably get.

    “Steamed internal organs…” hahaha 😉


    Downward douche is officially my new favorite phrase.

    I have unfortunate physical reactions to overheating, so hot yoga is out for me unless I want to debut the new poses Spitting Up Cobra and Hurling Hero.


    Coffee, yoga, and sex.
    Best day ever. 🙂

    Awesome post. Love your face.


      Aww, I don’t want to burst your bubble, but 20 minutes of nondescript sex wasn’t good enough to qualify for best day ever.
      The coffee was good. I’m grateful for coffee. 🙂


    Are you actually me? It’s as if I could have written all of this (except for the yoga).


    “Which is less like an Escher painting than it sounds.”


    But again, man and yoga…I am modern and open minded I would think but again …


    I especially liked “insecurities are alcohol soluble” and “sport-fucking man-eater.” Good thing you waited till morning.


    Hot yoga? Oh my! Just wait until menopause starts and then you won’t have to pay extra for the sauna! 😉


    Girl, you have a way with words! I really enjoy reading your posts. As for yoga, I don’t enjoy it – regular yoga makes me super nauseous, and I don’t know why. I’ve followed advice from my instructors and have eaten something before class, not eaten something before class, positioned myself near the fan, etc – but it never fails – I end up spending most of the class in corpse pose fighting not to vomit right there in front of everyone (which, I’m sure you know, would put an incredible damper on the Zen). I can’t even imagine hot yoga – I would probably upchuck the moment I stepped in the door.


      Yes, Upchucking Lotus is the pose I do most in hot yoga.

      I wonder why regular yoga makes you vomit. Are you a puker?


        No — that’s the weird thing! Some of my friends theorize that perhaps it is having my head lower than the rest of my body (but that doesn’t make sense — don’t they tell people to put their heads between their legs when they feel woozy?) Or maybe I get overheated? I have no idea, but it happens every, DAMN time!


        I think the head between the legs thing is more for when you’re hyperventilating?

        I don’t know. But we all have our little physical quirks. My sense of smell is so intense, I get nauseous from someone wearing perfume. There are lipsticks I can’t wear, because the fragrance is too strong and it makes me sick!


    Nothing like a hook up with someone you don’t even know their name, then do the walk of shame. Yoga is not my thing but coffee and sex sounds great!


    “nondescript”?… ouch. If the casual sex with Don/Jon was “nondescript” I would definitely not go back for seconds. Stick with the yoga and coffee… leave Don/Jon outta it… keep looking 🙂

    londonbridgesharon February 6, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Still lovin’ everything you put out – including yourself to sweet old Jon/Don. Keep writing – you make a lotta sense even to a Big Issue seller in dull London.


      Is a Big Issue seller something financial, in the stock exchange?

      Thank you for loving my blog. I am so grateful you read, and comment.

        londonbridgesharon February 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        Anything but I am afraid – the Big Issue is a weekly magazine that homeless people sell. Without an address it is impossible to find a job – no employer wants a member of staff who has nowhere to live/wash/sleep etc. So you can become a self-employed magazine seller – we pay £1.25 for each mag and sell it at a regular pitch on the street for £2.50, thereby making half the cover price as profit. Take a look at my blog and you will get a better idea.


    I can’t wait until my coffee is finished brewing. I took ONE hot yoga class and couldn’t finish it, I thought I was going to die.

    Samara, this is so beautifully The bursting from the water analogy is awesome. I am digging you so much.


      Thank you, Michelle. Hot yoga sucks. Coffee is awesome. Nondescript sex is…nondescript.

      My blog is flagged at most people’s offices. I think, because I use the word “Whore” in one of my post titles?
      Or…everything else.


    Hall and Oates have to alter their classic song for you now, Samara. It’s going to go through my mind the next time I hear it regardless because of you and your hot yoga after class Don/Jon coffee-then? experiment. “Look out, boys, here she comes, she’s a manatee couch eater …” It was time for you to get back up on the … well, you know what I mean … get out and do something again, my friend. Even non-descript sex qualifies. ❤


      *sigh* I know, I know, Mark. I have to get back into the dating world. Frankly, I’m not ready. There seems to be no shortage of available men where I live, but I am still getting over my marriage!

      Also, navigating the dating world is treacherous these days. Things have REALLY changed in the last 15 years, when I was single. Everything is online and communication is all electronic and I feel like a dinosaur. Or a manatee. 🙂


    Coffee is awesome. Encounters like these are just another layer to the onion of life. Love the writing, as usual.


    Love your writing, so glad I found your blog, via a facebook group! I’ve got a different scenario but, I stopped going to my yoga studio after a guy I had a short relationship with showed up there…after he ended things. Downward Dog became uncomfortable, especially when the instructor says “now reach your ass to the sky & make it kiss the ceiling” Having his eyes behind me, felt like he was undressing me all over again. I eventually went back, and he still looks at my online dating profile. I say, in hindsight, I should have just kept going,,,and maybe you should too. Then again, that’s just my unsolicited opinion 😉 Can’t wait to read more of your posts.


    The operative phrase here is “…restaurant near his house.” That’s ripped right from the guy manual. The oldest trick since the invented restaurants near townhouses. You must have seen that coming. Did you?

    I hear hot yoga rooms are smelly. Are they?


      Ugh! They are RANK.

      And on top of all that musty sweat, the teacher sprays the room with “specially blessed” eucalyptus spray. So the room has minty, refreshing top notes with strong bottom notes of butt crack.

      Can you lend me a copy of this Guy Manual?


    Great work. If somebody cruises you during bikram yoga, when we look our absolute worst….doesn’t that say something…about them? If nothing else it makes for an awesome story. Thanks for sharing. You are a great writer!! Keep at it!!!


    The only time the F word comes up in the same sentence with me and yoga is the muffled F-bombs I try to stifle as I pray to Jesus and Buddha my chaturanga doesn’t give out on me.


    Well then. I have been toying with trying yoga, and hot yoga appeals to me for some reason, but I might have to try “starter yoga for old people” first. Some how I have a feeling my hot yoga won’t ever be as hot as yours…..I wrote a quote on a post it note and put it on my bathroom mirror for the sake of my children and also myself. Apparently you need it too. “If I could give you one thing, it would be for you to see yourself through my eyes. Then you would know how truly amazing you are”


    I’m sitting gingerly on the softest cushion I’ve got. To be precise, I’m perched on a bruise the shape and size of Arizona on my arse.

    Not really relevant to anything other than the mother of all sides from my bike. As in road bike.

    In summary; Arse. Bruised. Ouch


    It’s like i died and went to word-heaven. Having a word-gasm. If i ever picked up a harmless addiction, reading your blog is it. Living vicariously through your tales. Epic!


    I don’t know how I missed this, Samara! I’ve been missing posts lately and I missed a good one! Hot damn, girl! And hot yoga, too? It’s just too bad you have to find another yoga studio. I’ve never tried the hot one. It sounds effective but miserable. You’re so much fun to read, Samara. It sounds like you needed this afternoon.


    Love it, girl! I only play a bitch on the internet, too. I won’t tell if you won’t. Except we both just sorta did. Fuck.


    It could get awkward if this Don Johnson starts looking for a new yoga studio too and you both find the same one. At least now that you know in which direction his house is, so you can look for a studio in the opposite one.
    I don’t get yoga or hot yoga. I’ll take the “hot” part minus the yoga, plus a 100 more degrees.

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