I'd like to confess to a murder, because after all, this is a humor column. It happened like this... As you may know, the latest fitness craze is hot yoga, in which 25 people are jammed into a 20-by-30-foot room with forced heating that elevates the temperature to 105 degrees. This, so that you can stretch with more elasticity, release toxins and suffer more acutely while converting your body into a salt lick.
I approached my first hot yoga session like any other first-time activity that involves other people: head down, avoiding eye contact, going straight to the back of the room so that any and all rookie mistakes would be seen by the fewest number of witnesses.
As I stepped into the yoga room (which is not unlike deplaning onto the tarmac of Mars), this dude at the door, surrounded by a bevy of hot chicks, tapped me on the shoulder and boomed in a way over-projected voice, "you're s'posed to take off your sandals before you step into the yoga room, man."
"Oh, yes, of course," I complied quietly. "Perhaps next time raise the volume a half-decibel so they can hear you in Guam."
I quickly found a slot in the back row middle, looking out at a sea of mats pre-placed by the torture victims still waiting outside for the yogi to march them back into the oven.
As they filed in, none other than Loud Man plopped down on the mat directly in front of me. Great. Twenty-three Jennifer Anistons with next to nothing on and I get Loud Man dead ahead.
We began with something called the "downward dog," which is a cross between advanced plyometrics and prison sex.
The yogi took us through a score of other positions, for which I had to mimic either Loud Man or the Jennifers next to me, because I had no idea what the yogi was saying. To my ears, the postures sounded like "Chaka Kahn," "Salmonella," "Talladega" and "Diverticulitis." (I recently found out the thing the yogi says at the very end is "Namaste," which means, "the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you," in Sanskrit. I learned this after asking the yogi why she always whispered "Monistat 7" at the end of the hour.)
The yogi spoke in a soothing voice not unlike the sadistic Lawrence Olivier, when performing radical dental work on Dustin Hoffman without Novocain in the movie Marathon Man.
"Always remember: This is your time. Breathe. There's no ego, no competition, this is all about you and your practice. Think of your mat as your own island paradise," she said, echoing the immortal saying: No man is an island...until he's lying in his own sweat puddle.
Thirty-five minutes into the hour, I was doing pretty well. That is, until we were ordered into the Kamikaze pose, or whatever they call it, wherein you stand on one leg, kick your hind leg straight back, spread your arms out like airplane wings and forward-tilt your torso parallel to the floor while looking straight ahead.
Did I mention Loud Man was directly in front of me? Wearing shorty-shorts that would have made Magnum P.I.'s hot pants seem like clam diggers?
Did I mention Loud Man, aka Horse's Upward Ass, was NOT WEARING UNDERWEAR?
Yeah, that's right. The seam of his shorty-shorts formed a perfect median strip for his open-air kiwis some 36 inches from my heat-plumped eyeballs.
Suffice it to say, I fell out of my pose, nearly toppling a row of Jennifers like dominos.
Okay, so I didn't actually murder Loud Man, but if thoughts are sins the same as actions, I'm guilty of 105-degree murder.
Happily, since that fateful day, I have successfully avoided Loud Man. Nevertheless, occasionally during transcendental moments on the mat, I meditate this headline:
"Jury Exonerates yoga Killer; Courtroom Applauds."
?Cookie "Chainsaw" Randolph finds his chi weekday mornings with The Dave, Shelly & Chainsaw Show on 100.7 JACK-FM.