Crow's-Feet Chronicles: Let's get it OM
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Nov 6, 2017
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The water aerobics class at Nautilus was the beginning step of attaining a 70-year-old (slightly wilted) fit body. Ilene, my new acquaintance in my water class, invited/encouraged/forced me to participate in yoga class that is scheduled immediately following the water aerobics class. Lawdy! Lawdy! 

How could I have agreed to a yoga class with a bunch of sweaty strangers, in a 105-degree room, with 40%-50% relative humidity, for 60 minutes straight? Wait…what??? I don’t even go to the mailbox when it’s 105• outside!  Ilene insisted that it’s different than a hot summer’s day and that the detoxing is so worth it! Then she made me promise I would join her. 

At this point my “cult radar” was pinged, and I told her so. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the same radar that goes off in the back of your brain when someone is trying to convince you to join Cross Fit, or buy essential oils, or drink green smoothies, or join pretty much any of those multi-level marketing online Facebook parties. And yet, you are friends with this person, you like her, and she is inviting you to join her posse—so against your better judgment you agree. I was feeling skeptical but adventurous, and I agreed to try out one class with her. Here is how it all unfolded—or perhaps didn’t unfold enough depending on how you look at it! 

I tried to act breezy and yogaish. The instructor said we didn’t have to do any of the moves if we didn’t want to. I thought about taking a little sweat nap and feeling accomplished for tolerating a Texan-esque setting for a bit. But when she told me to spit out my gum to avoid a choking incident, I realized I couldn’t count on that cool-pepperminty-goodness to get me through the dark times. 

Thirty-five people with their mats were stacked like sardines in the stifling room. I joined them by lying on my mat in the “dead body” pose, and I suddenly realized that I really am, in fact, going to die. 

The first thing we did was to stand tall, with our arms outstretched over our heads, and engage in a Praying Mantis breathing technique. I had sweat in my eyes, which cascaded between my breasts and down my back. And that was just pretending to be a Praying Mantis! 

All of a sudden, we were doing the Eagle Pose which looks nothing like an eagle and everything like a contorted snake. It consisted of wrapping our limbs awkwardly all around ourselves while simultaneously trying to do a one-legged squat. How in the world?! I realized that I probably need more kale in my life. 

We began doing a “wind removing” pose. Oh please dear God, may there be no wind removing happening in this room! I can think of few things worse than being trapped in a 105 degree room, with 40-50% relative humidity, with 35 people’s “wind”! What kind of torture am I paying for? 

I felt sort of like I was on the History Channel where all of those men had to survive extreme starvation, cold, and rain in the Vancouver Island wilderness. I thought I might start constructing a guitar out of my yoga mat and crying hysterically over an existential crisis. 

I peek around the room with the same discomfort I have at the end of a movie when the credits are rolling. You know, when you’re ready to get up and go but everyone in your row seems to be thoroughly enjoying the black screen and white words. You don’t want to disturb their enjoyment—but come on people, it’s over. Let’s go! 

Drop and give me zen.