Ow! Ow! Ow!

You would think that, knowing about this yoga class for the past week, I would have made sure I had my yoga clothes ready. Was I wrong to assume that since I haven’t been to a yoga class since Paris Hilton was a virgin, I would have some clean, folded, and well-fitting yoga clothes just waiting for me? Yes, I was. With only twenty minutes to get to class, I grabbed what I thought were my gray yoga pants only to discover that it was actually my gray long sleeved T-shirt. I eventually found a pair of amorphous black pants in Mr. Dingo’s drawer. These were not the trendy sleek pants I envisioned for my first yoga class in almost a century, but if an opportunity for ninja-like stealth or martial arts combat arose on the way to the studio, I would be appropriately dressed.

Sports bra? By the time I contorted my upper body to get into the vise-like spandex and polyester torture device I found in the back of my drawer, I probably did not need to go to the yoga class after all.

Cute yoga top? I found it behind the dresser covered in multiple layers of Dingo Girl and Not a Dingo hair. I wore it anyway. After a few swipes of the lint brush, it was a good as new it was going to get.

I consoled myself with the thought that I wasn’t going to yoga dressed like a poser (although I wanted to). Instead, I would sport the casual, relaxed attire I often admire in the tabloid photos of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Love Hewitt as they zip off to the gym in nothing more than track pants and a white T-shirt. That hope was quickly dashed once I left the magical force field that surrounds my apartment. Leaving that magical force field transforms items that appeared acceptable in my bedroom mirror into outfits that look as if I allowed circus clowns to dress me prior to dousing myself in honey and rolling around in dust bunnies and pet hair. There were people snapping pictures of me as I walked down the street. I am sure those photos will find their way to some Yeti website. I almost called it a day then and there and then I realized that yoga people are all New Age-y and non-judgmental, right? So off to class I went.

The class was in a beautiful studio on Madison Avenue. For those of you who know New York, Madison Avenue will conjure images of Upper East Side matrons with too much time and money on their hands. I fit none of those categories. When I stepped into the studio, I encountered other categories outside my usual realm of experience. Botox, for one. Hey, I said yoga people are non-judgmental. I never said that I wasn’t judgmental.

My class consisted of the instructor, a lithe charming brunette with pink toenails at the end of slender toes that she could clearly use to put her earrings on; a woman who fit all the categories previously mentioned; and me, in my pet-hair ninja costume. Class was a blur of pleasure and pain. I was more out of shape than I had thought. My “straight” back rivaled Quasimodo and my hamstrings were constantly at war with my quads resulting in spasmodic twitching and grotesque muscular contractions.

At one point, surely mistaking my flailing for an epileptic seizure, my instructor asked if everything was okay. I wanted to respond in the negative but my mouth was too full of pet hair dislodged by my desperate gasps for breath. Sensing my distress, the instructor would gently correct my posture and positioning. By “gently,” I mean that she would wrench my body into contortions formerly reserved for roller coasters and Gumby. Meanwhile, my classmate moved with fluidity and grace. I couldn’t tell if she was experiencing any discomfort because her Botox left her expressionless. I also had a feeling that the wide-eyed surprised look on her face was less a result of the physical exertion than eyelid surgery and a rather vigorous brow lift.

By the end of the hour-long class I was getting into the groove of things. My body was starting to relax and I was able to enjoy a level of looseness in my limbs that I hadn’t felt for some time. My muscles are slightly sore — but it’s a good soreness. I signed up for another session for next Tuesday. Sometime between now and then, I have to find workout clothes that do not make me look like an extra from Planet of the Apes.