A couple of weeks ago a friend sent an IM that read:
Do you want to do couples with me?
She did not lead in with anything, it was my first message of the day from her.
Having absolutely zero idea what she was talking about, I wrote back:
Umm, I don’t know, are they attractive?
She didn’t reply and amongst the many messages that followed she never explained, I had mostly forgotten about it, until a couple of days ago when we were in the middle of messaging about her yoga class.
ME: I might look for a class
HER: You could do couples with me
HER: Saturdays at 8:30 am
HER: It would be free for you
ME: what makes it couples?
HER: They do poses where you lean against the other person
ME: but you can just bring somebody and it is covered in your normal cost?
HER: Yup, but only for couples
ME: how long is the class?
HER: An hour
ME: do we have to pretend we are a lesbian couple?
HER: Only if you want to
That is how I ended up at a couples yoga class at 8:30 in the morning. I am NOT a flexible person. We’re talking mind body and spirit here, so yoga is a long road trip from my home state. Also, I am seriously NOT a morning person. What I AM, is cheap. I was willing to go, at least check out, what could be a free twice a week yoga class. I am able to embrace the fact that I suck at yoga.
Before the class starts the instructor explains how couples yoga was about providing support, improving communication, and building trust. I give my friend *the look*. Then class began. It was mostly similar to a regular yoga class. – An adorable woman stands at the front of the class and tells us what she wants us to do, using terms that mean nothing to me, to describe positions that I could not get myself into after eating a bottle of muscle relaxants. For some things the couples are back to back, for some feet to feet. We are helping to push or pull each other and achieve an extra half inch of stretching.
Then things take a yoga bend for the ridiculous. I find myself on my back, instructed to bend my knees and lift my legs, placing the bottom of my feet on my partner’s thighs. She is then instructed to lean all her weight forward and try to place her hands on the floor next to my head. This pushes my legs back into my chest and aims my knees for my ears and rolls my butt and lower back up off the ground. It is supposed to stretch my spine. If you are not laughing right this minute, I am not describing it correctly. Her face ends up about 2 inches from mine. Her mouth twitches as she fights back the desire to laugh and she gazes soulfully into my eyes and says, “Hello”.
At this point, you might be tempted to imagine your favorite scene from an adult film, or Paris Hilton’s weekly internet accident. Stop. Replace the porn star chicks with two fat housewives in sweatpants. It is a comedy, and I am the star, but somebody forgot the camera (I hope).
On the next couples pose I opt to let my partner go first, which turned out to be the wrong choice because she got the easy part. She is told to get into child’s pose . While I watch my partner do that, the instructor finishes going through the steps, and I glance back to find the instructor lying on her back on top of her partner, with her head slanted down toward the ground.
I blink. Twice.
“Umm, how am I supposed to get there?”
“Just sit down on her, so your hips line up with each other.”
Hips line up. Yeah, so what she is saying is that I should sit my ass on her ass. Dancing cheek to cheek. Visions of squashing her to death flash through my head, and I know if it happens, it is going to make the news. I manage to convince myself to sit and somehow lie back. I am not really enjoying it, so I ask how we are supposed to get off and am told to use goddess rising (this very slow graceful “sit-up” using your abdominals and really pushing your hips toward earth). I realize there is no way that is going to happen, so I roll off to one side.
As we switch off, the instructor tells us to hold the pose as long as the partner on the bottom wants. We are helping them to stretch. I go into child pose and since that involves being face to the floor I cannot watch my friend try to figure out what to do, but I am sure she looked almost as awkward as I did. Soon we are back to back with hips up and heads down, and she says, “Tell me when you are done.” “Oh, I think I’m done,” I reply. She shifts her weight a bit trying to figure out what to do and awkwardly rolls off to the side onto her hands and knees. “You were supposed to get up with goddess rising,” I tease her. “What?! No way!” I guess she hadn’t heard what the instructor said, she was no doubt too busy worrying that I was going to squash her to death and we’d end up in the news. Few people want to waste their 15 minutes with a yoga incident.
We make our way through the rest of the class and at the end as we are in our final relaxation the instructor comes by and picks up my legs and gently swings them and pulls loosening the hips and stretching the spine a bit. Then she gives a quick massage to my feet! I guess she is trying to get voted “most popular yoga instructor e-var”.
As we leave my friend asks if I want to do it again. I tell her that I will think about it.