A masseuse friend of mine once told me, “Massage is the lazy man’s yoga.”
Yes, I actually have multiple masseuse friends, and yes, I need to take better advantage of this.
We got on this topic because I think a few of us at work were begging her for back rubs or foot rubs. In the restaurant industry, most of us would kill for a full body massage once a week. I consider my job a full blown workout most days, with weights and cardio covered through running around a busy dining room carrying at least three plates that weigh about 397,596,900 pounds each.
All of this while smiling, not spilling anything on anyone, and remembering exactly how the French man in the corner wanted his martini. Belvedere, exactly two drops of Vermouth, shaken very cold with ice chips (save the rest of the ice on the side), with a twist in the drink and three blue cheese olives on the side. Try that in your next spinning class.
But sometimes you just can’t afford that lazy man’s yoga. And your right shoulder has tightened into a golf ball. And now the tightness has spread all the way into your right hand and down to your right calf. And there just happens to be a Groupon for 2 weeks of unlimited yoga classes 6 blocks from your house and you have been kind of feeling like a lazy piece of mush anyway. So you get off the couch, sign up, and head down the road in your stretchiest outfit possible.
Have I mentioned I live North of Montana?
So I fully expect to see the latest in yoga gear, the most flexible people, and the fanciest yoga mats you’ve ever seen. I expect the most gorgeous, bendy women (and men) of Santa Monica to be all zen-ed out and peaceful.
I expected something like this:
So my first class, my friend Suzi and I went together with the lines still on our cheeks from our pillows. I rolled out my ripped mat. There were awesome yoga outfits, but there were also plenty of women in gym shorts and T-shirts. There were lots of ponytails. We got bendy. We even got a smoothie afterward at the Whole Foods across the street.
I felt so zen.
And then I went back this morning. A Monday morning at 10:45 when most adults are at work. I figured the class would be empty and I could really relax.
I will once again remind you, I live (just) North of Montana.
The class was packed. My mat was about a foot from the two people next to me. But that doesn’t bother me. In fact, this kind of reassured me that I need to get out of my head and stop thinking that “everyone” works 9-5 and that is normal. Not in this town. Not even close.
No, that kind of inspired me. It was good to be surrounded by all of these people living alternative lifestyles. And all of these people who wanted to get bendy.
What I couldn’t help but notice was the dress code for some of the women in the class. It was like this:
Haha, no. It wasn’t that bad. Although I am forever impressed by the things Lady Gaga and Beyonce can do in four inch heels.
No, it was a more tame version of that. The woman in front of me was wearing more make-up than I wear when I go out on the town. The woman next to her was wearing earrings, bracelets, and a watch fancier than any watch I own. Plus her hair wasn’t even tied back. It looked perfectly blown out.
And don’t even get me started on the plastic surgery.
I immediately judged. Me in my Target yoga gear from 2002 laid out my ripped mat and thought all of the mean thoughts about Real Housewives of Santa Monica or whatever. And I wondered how that makeup was going to look once the class was through. And how sweaty all those bracelets were going to be.
But I’ll tell you what. Those women totally proved me wrong.
Those fancied up yoga ladies stuck poses where I had to use blocks. They sunk deeper into poses where my legs were shaking like crazy. And I never saw one drop of sweat.
So maybe there is something to wearing make-up to the gym. Maybe it forces you to get better faster so you don’t have black streaks dripping down your face an hour later while the blonde girl behind you is beet red and toweling the sweat off her face for the third time.
Or maybe this zen thing is getting to me. No more negative thoughts.