I leaned back into the plush sofa and let my compatriots listen to the timorous sounds of their own egos, swirling my glass and watch dozens of tiny bubbles fly up to suicide themselves against the border of liquid gold. It made me feel slightly better.
Around me, ugly people in pretty clothes were eating tiny bites of food saturated in truffle oil. The women were leaving territorial marks of lipstick on everything they came into contact with – their glasses, their ornamental toothpicks, their husbands, other people’s husbands – all smeared in variations of Revlon red.
The men were standing around in clusters with their hands deep in their pockets. They were pretending not to watch the wait staff who flitted in and out, agile on impossibly precarious heels, skinny girls in short white dresses, obviously meant to blend in with the all white decor. How they could manage to keep the outside furniture sure a pristine shade, I couldn’t fathom. I imagine they must have to constantly retouch every surface, dry-clean the out fabrics on a regular basis, and tirelessly scrub the sand off the marble floor. All this so rich men with trophy wives could sip exotic drinks and feel like they have experienced the island.
Drumming my fingers on the armrest of the couch, I watched the wait-staff’s best efforts to discourage a growing army of pigeons from besieging the cocktail party. A small flock of birds had descended earlier, summoned by a single misplaced finger-sandwich. They wove skillfully in and out of the parade of leather driving moccasins and designer heels, pecking at cubes of tuna speckled with caviar, chunks of lobster, and the occasional proscuitto-wrapped melon ball. They seemed dressed for the party, with their feathers freshly preened and the iridescent purple-green shimmer of their plumage.
When the squabbling over a duck confit empanada had more or less ended, a large grey male meandering in my direction fixed me with a beady eye. His bobbing head moving in rhythm with his pink-legged strut forcibly reminded me of the self-important, sauntering gait of my fiancé, who often walked in the wrong direction while looking as if he had somewhere to be. The pigeon, with his neck feathers plumped and his wings neatly arranged, clearly had plans for my untouched plate. Chuckling to myself, I dropped him an expensive sounding canapé. He scrambled over, his head bobbing frantically, wings askew. I pictured Laurent running after his latest celebrity client and burst out laughing as the whole flock came running over, cooing in alarm, feathers plump, jostling over the morsel. I left my feathery fiancé lookalike to fend for himself as the horde hopped up onto the seat I had vacated and pecked my whole selection of snacks to shreds.
Okay internet. I promised y’all that I’d tell you about this amazing yoga dance party I went to last week. However, I also recently went to a class taught by a friend of mine that I really want to talk about as well. So I guess I’m going to kill two birds with one stone today.
It’s funny because on paper, these classes were very similar, but they couldn’t have been more different if you tried. In practice, these classes were seriously salt and pepper. Black and white. East and west. Arts and sciences. You get it.
Internet, I’ve never been as gross as I was during these practices. I was rancid. I had to flip my mat over in the middle of both of them and I was still sliding around in a puddle of my own sweat (reasons why I’m single #24- I sweat like a fat tourist in Cancun during the summer solstice). Both of these classes were in heated rooms with 40-50 other people for an hour and a half. They were both power yoga classes, meaning that we did a whole ton of pushups and core work and all that craziness. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
The yoga dance party was amazing. It was so much fun. We did it as an end to our 40 days program, but we left it open to anyone who wanted to come and made it free. I got to figure out the playlist and included such hits as “Beauty and a Beat”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”, “I Feel Good”, and “Sexy and I Know it”, because my taste in music is flawless (reasons why I’m single # 37- I have terrible taste in music). Essentially what we did was tag-team-teaching- mi madre started teaching, then passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so one. It was fun and spontaneous and there was a lot of screaming and yelling and laughing and singing involved. We even got some of our students who aren’t teachers to teach a little bit. Most of the people in the room knew each other or had at least been in the studio and the community before, so we all felt like we could let our hair down and get weird. Totally mindblowing, and pretty much everyone left saying that we absolutely had to do it again.
The other class was taught by a friend of mine from yoga teacher training, Samuel Robinson, who teaches at both of Baron Baptiste’s yoga studios in Boston. He’s been to pretty well every Baptiste training there is, he’s Baptiste certified, and he’s brilliant. I begged Mater to go and I’m so glad we did. It was a no music, no frills, bare bones traditional vinyasa class. Lots of long holds and breathing and some really good verbal cues that I’m absolutely stealing- sorry Sam, those toe mound pointers are mine now! I loved being anonymous with a bunch of like-minded people. It was a welcome change from being a teacher in a studio that everyone knows and feeling like I’m being looked at or evaluated. It was a refreshing reset.
In both classes I sweated, I breathed, I moved, and I had fun in completely different ways. They were so dissimilar, it’s hard to even classify them as the same type of yoga.
I’ve heard people talk about what is and isn’t yoga, and I think that’s poppycock. Some people like music during class, some don’t. Some people like laughing and silliness during class, some like meditation and breathing and serious practice. Some people like ketchup and mustard on their burgers, some like BBQ sauce, and sometimes it depends on the day. You’re still getting the burger, just with different toppings. The movement, the workout, the connection, the “meat” of the practice, is still there for you to tap into.
Personally when I practice alone, I put on a mix of techno music and gangster rap. I guess that’s a burger with cheese and sautéed onions?
Man, now I’m hungry.