In a recent Huffington Post blog entitled, "Yoga Manners for Sweaty Men," lawyer, beauty editor and yogi Meena Khan ridiculed the men in her class for sweating and engaging in the cardinal sin of wearing thin white shorts. Which, when wet from rigorously practicing hot yoga poses, i.e. "Downward-Facing Dog," apparently, exposes their butt cheeks. And, in other instances, their manly members.
As Ms. Khan writes with great sensitivity:
"I have been practicing hot yoga since 2008, and even after performing thousands of sun salutations, I still feel like throwing my yoga block at men who sweat excessively or wear thin white shorts to class."
Ms. Khan is especially offended when, as the hot yoga class heats up, her male neighbour, sweats so profusely on his yoga mat, that he sounds like a dripping faucet. Which in turn pierces Ms. Khan's hard-won concentration.
Ms. Khan is also offended that the odd sweat droplet may sully her own pristine yoga mat. And that she also is frequently traumatized by the sight of her male yoga neighbour's "flaccid phallus and wet bum."
Well, Ms. Khan, you should definitely thank your lucky sun salutations, that you're not a member of my Sunday morning co-ed hot yoga class in downtown Toronto, near the University of Toronto ("U of T") campus.
In this off campus yoga class, the yoga participants are crude, rude, loud, sweaty, and gaseous. And those are just the women.
This is one of the loosest and hottest yoga classes in Toronto. Literally. You can boil live lobsters on the floor.
Since this yoga class is cheap ($8 bucks a pop) and is located in the Bloor/Brunswick area, in the U of T student ghetto, this class mostly attracts female 20-something students. Some token dudes and the odd aging male yoga enthusiast. Moi. Emphasis on the "odd".
What sets this yoga class apart from most yoga classes, is that this class is the natural extension of a night of partying, drinking and random hook-ups.
Being the oldest dude in this class, I generally occupy an inconspicuous spot in the back row, near the felt blocks and stretchy straps and elastic belts. ( I have a thing for straps and belts. Don't ask.)
Inevitably, I am surrounded by laughing, hung over female English lit majors, who spend most of the class, reliving the high and low points of their evening, a scant few hours ago.
My regular female neighbour on my left, sports an elaborate flaming orange salamander tattoo on her bare back. ("The Girl with the Salamander Tattoo.") My regular female neighbour on my right, wears very intricate black ink writing covering both arms. Which is either Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" or a recipe for quinoa/kale gluten-free pork tacos. ("Ms. Tacos.")
I should note that the majority of the class wears all sorts of body art, tattoos and piercings on and in their bodies.
Full disclosure: I have no tattoos on my person. Or piercings through or in my person. The thought of sticking a pin through my eyebrow makes me faint.
For many months, I felt truly estranged from this group. Until one Sunday, Ms. Salamander complimented me on my full back hair tattoo, especially that part flecked with grey. In my case, five shades of grey.
But I digress.
We had no sooner finished chanting our introductory "OMs" when Ms. Salamander launched into a blow by blow account of her random hook-up with this guy she picked up in some Ossington Avenue dive bar.
Ms. Pork Tacos countered with the horrifying tale that when she and her new dude were getting down and busy, the dude noticed that when he went "downtown," he discovered that Ms. Pork Tacos hadn't trimmed "her garden" since Obama was first elected.
I must confess that I did sneak a peak at Ms. Tacos, to my right.
Note to the good folks, at Lululemon: Your yoga pants, when really moist, are still see-through.
It was clear that Ms. Tacos "garden" was more like a very dense and lush Amazonian Rainforest. I'm surprised Ms. Tacos' dude found his way back to civilization.
Then Ms. Salamander and Ms. Tacos launched into a heated debate, over my "Cobra" pose, of the pros and cons of a full Brazilian wax.
Then they turned to me and together inquired, "Hey, dude, where do you stand on the Full Brazilian?"
In mid-plank pose, I replied to the effect that as a guy, I was pretty indifferent. I was cool with Full Brazilian, Half Brazilian, the South Beach and a Simple Mohawk. We guys are just happy to be invited to explore the territory.
My female neighbours, for some reason, thought this enormously funny. And they laughed uproariously, followed by simultaneous farting. Clearly, Ms. Pork Tacos was eating her own cooking.
I liked these female yoga partners because their raucous behaviour hid the fact that in these hot yoga classes, I don't just perspire -- I literally gush sweat. Big gobs of sweat. Not a few droplets. By more like a torrential rain of perspiration.
Rat-a-tat-tatting like a tommy gun on my yoga mat. The Normandy invasion comes to mind.
During the hot yoga class, water pours from all my pores. I'm constantly forced to bail water out of my mat. But to no avail.
Water slops over my mat. A moat soon forms around my mat. I desperately encircle my mat with tons of towels.
But these cloth levees still break and my fluids spill all over on my neighbours' mats. Surf's up!
If the above-noted lawyer Meena was my yoga neighbour, I would be subjected to the Wrath of Khan.
Fortunately, my own female yoga neighbours are still too hung over to care. And they think I'm cute for an old guy.
Toronto Hot Yoga rocks!