2003, $1.99, at St. Vincent de Paul, Downtown
First Impression: This is Volume 1: For Relaxation
This is not the picture I would have chosen to illustrate “relaxation.”
Yoga instructor Robin Downes tells us that “yoga means union, and flava is a hip hop expression meaning contemporary style.” She emphasizes that yoga is Not A Religion. (Except for the Attention-Craving Loud Omers, and you know who you are, it kind of is.)
I’ve been doing yoga for roughly 15 years and I am still terrible. My body type doesn’t have a lot of natural flexibility, and I fidget during meditation. Also, I know it’s supposed to make you feel at one with everything, but attending group yoga classes only makes me want to isolate myself from the other students, who won’t stop wiping their bunions on my yoga mat. So I’m a Bad Yoga Student. And that’s perfectly fine with me.
Robin invites us to go on a Yoga Flava Journey with her, and I accept. Our quest begins in the echoey first floor of a house. A High Elf explains to the assembled Fellowship that we need to travel all the way to Mordor in order to … oh, wait, that’s a different DVD.
Someone has attempted to camouflage the stairs with a housepainter’s used dropcloths. Robin wears an asymmetrical top that cuts down across her left breast at an angle, but due to luck and possibly double-sided tape, said breast never pops out to say “Namaste.”
Robin’s soothing instruction is underscored with baby-making music, but it’s played on a cheap synthesizer so the affect is more Prom Night than Slow Jams. This 70-minute routine is calm and gentle, yet the next day I was unbelievably sore. Somehow she stretched me out, beat me up, worked me over, flipped it, and reversed it without me knowing. It’s going to be a long journey, Frodo.