Welcome, everyone. Let’s start by first taking your mat, and throwing it to the side, as we will not be using it in today’s class. And as you may have noticed, the blocks have been replaced with bricks. If you haven’t already, grab two.
Meet in tabletop position, letting your knees and palms press deep into the bare hardwood. If this is too comfortable, place bricks underneath your shins. Focus on the floor, and watch as the sweat beads drip off the bridge of your nose, rippling as they collect in a pool on the ground. Feel the humid 140 ºF air as it penetrates your skin. A significant portion of your monthly membership fee goes toward paying our gas bill.
Prepare for music to join us. Specifically, late ’90s/early ’00s nu metal. Let the mishmash of genres confuse your mind. Ask yourself who would ever think it was a good idea to combine heavy metal and hip-hop. Invite the pulsating bass and heavily distorted guitars to vibrate from the speakers through the floor, directly into your bones. Allow the screeching turntable scratches to pierce your ears. Resist the urge to block out the noise with your hands.
Take special note of your breath. Inhale and exhale through your mouth rapidly with no discernible cadence, ultimately building toward hyperventilation. The goal is to quickly deplete your supply of oxygen. Another option available to you is to simply not breathe at all. Choose whatever feels worse to your body.
Rise to a standing position at the top of where your mat would’ve been. Stiffen all of your joints and muscles. If there is any tension in your neck or shoulders, concentrate on that for a moment, making yourself more strained and rigid. Set your gaze upon your drishti to aid you. If you haven’t found a drishti yet, you may focus on the laser pointer that I will be shining directly into your eye. Either way, I will be beaming a narrow ray of colored light straight at your cornea.
Push your feet into the floor as you stand. Pay attention to the pressure in your heels. Is it in any way similar to the pressure put on you by your job and/or family, and how you’re crumbling under all of the weight? Collapse into uttanasana, forward fold.
Come into chair pose, listening to your body. If it’s telling you that it cannot go any further and that permanent damage is imminent due to significant water loss caused by the dangerously high studio temperature, that is good. If you aren’t visibly wincing in pain, I may come around and jab a brick into your side.
Next, transition into downward dog. Let the descending slope created by your spine remind you of the downward trajectory of your relationship, career, or simply your life in general. Do not rest in child’s pose. If you find that your mind begins to wander back to the days of your early years in an attempt to numb you from the physical and emotional turmoil you are currently experiencing, remember that your youthfulness has long since departed, and refocus your energy on the painful, painful present.
We’ll move to our backs, getting ready for savasana. If you’d like, you can wedge one of your bricks beneath the small of your back. Pay attention to the added stress in both your body and mind as compared to when we began. Is your mind clouded with doubt and worry? Or is it too distracted by your vital organs shutting down due to a critical lack of hydration?
As we make our way to a seated position, be conscious of your newfound sense of exhaustion and agony. Place your hands together at heart center — if you can muster the strength — to honor yourself, your fellow classmates, and your practice.
Thank you all for joining me today, and I hope to see you again next week. Please remember to return your bricks to the shelf, and if you wouldn’t mind, I would appreciate any help in reviving your fellow yogis who may have taken “corpse pose” a little too literally.