RODNEY YEE’S YOGA BURN

RodYeeYogaBurn

2005, $1.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Dude, your penis is out.

Second Impression: It’s like, out! Hide your shame, Dude.

RodYeeYogaBurnINSERT

Oh, wait. There’s a toenail on his penis. I probably wouldn’t wear pants, either.

Rodney Yee, former ballet dancer, tells the camera that he’s invented a groundbreaking new “Yoga Burn” method. You move very slowly through each pose, repeating each pose three times. The slowness makes the practice more mindful and intense. We’ll see about that.

Rodney Yee performs the routine on a set that was left over from the 1980 miniseries, Shogun. There’s rice-paper screen walls and a raised wooden platform for yoga-ing. The floor is covered with sand and raked decoratively around a large boulder, upon which Rodney Yee must step if he means to transform into a raven and fly into the night. But once he makes his choice, he must remain in his raven-form for seven years…

But I must be mindful. Don’t mind me, I’m being mindful! I’m focusing on the poses, and I’m counting how many times Rodney Yee uses the word “slowly” to describe how he wants me to move. Does he really need to say it every time? Because he’s already setting a fine example of how to move as if you are doing yoga in a roomful of molasses. Show, don’t tell, Rodney.

He wears tiny shorts and a long black ponytail that, on any other man, would scream, “I’m unemployed!” His hairstylist has wrapped a loop of hair to hide the elastic, like Marie Claire advises you to do in its “Ten Cool Hairstyles for Summer!” But then you try them out, and your hair is too wavy, or thick, or layered, to make any of the styles work at all, and you are once again convinced that the prejudice against curly hair is a subtle form of racism, and you vow never again to waste time trying out anything recommended by a pastel headline.

And I’m mindful. I’m so mindful and present doing all these poses one, twice, and thrice under the slow, mindful, intense tutelage of Rodney Yee. However, I just don’t believe the claims that moving at the pace of a glacier gives you “fat-burning, lean body toning results.” No, Doctor, it does not burn when I Yee.

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