Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I have changed his name for the sake of privacy, but the details remain the same. I want to share with you the story of a man in my yoga class. It is a story that I know admittedly little of, but holds an odd interest for me nonetheless . . .

His name, let's say, is angelo. He is probably in his early to mid thirties, with short but shaggy brown hair, the kind i'm sure he spends a lot of time on but wants you to think is effortless-looking. (no judgment here; i'm in the same camp)

He loves to do headstands. No joke. Every time we are in the same class, he always requests 'inversions.' For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it means a headstand. Yes, you stand ON YOUR HEAD. Me, not so much with the headstands. But Angelo has a mean headstand in his practice (that's how you say it. "If you have an inversion in your practice, you may take it now." me, i lay on the floor with my feet up against the wall.)

So angelo gets up on his head - look mom, no hands! - and balances there like it's the easiest thing in the world. he's not afraid that his shirt is going to fall over his head, leaving him blind and with pale tummy exposed, because he doesn't wear a shirt. maybe he'll walk in with one on, but it reliably comes off at the five-minute mark.

when class is over, just as surely as the shirt has been removed, angelo will find some unsuspecting yogi and ask him or her for a ride home. i'm not sure how he gets to class, but he always wrangles some hot young woman to drive him home and suggests they get together to meditate, but always at her place, his place is too small.

he is an interesting figure. part of what i don't get is, how as a Christian do i respond to people who are just kind of weird? or seem weird, to me? i'm uncertain about this. the other part i don't get is the shirt. honestly? we get that you're proud of your six-pack, but checking out your armpit hair in warrior one makes me want to gag.


Anna Jordan said...

In my experience, serious male yogis often go shirtless. I think they have to - it's some kind of code or something ;)

There's a man who I bump into from time to time at the studio (because I'm a yoga whore and have no particular class affiliations). He loves to start his practice with a headstand. This means that he arrives 5 minutes early to class to set up and invert, therefore meaning that the class sets up around him as he balances on his head in the middle of the room. Can you say yogier-than-thou?

Laura Ortberg Turner said...

'yogier-than-thou.' brilliant. i'm going to start using that one for sure.

the whole male yogi shirtless thing does seem to be some kind of code. and they're almost always the kind of guys who can pull off being shirtless in a semi-public place, which makes it kind of worse. it's like a show, and i feel like they expect the women around them to swoon, or at least give them a ride home.

then again, maybe it has more to do with how women dress - you know, we dress to impress each other more than to attract men. do you think these guys, headstand man included, are posturing? just trying to impress the other men in the class?