The Intern: Volume V

My First Run In with Yoga

I’ll be honest with you, I am a manly man. I am not a sissy, diaper-wipe mamma’s boy. (Just kidding, mom.) I do manly things, like punching people ... and inanimate objects ... and yelling. I watch football and Spike TV. I don’t shave, I don’t take regular showers and I play hockey without pads. Miller even asked me to be on the Man Law council, but I told those pansies that real men drink Keystone Light.

It’s tough being as manly as I am; the expectations are always high. You are constantly being forced to reinvent yourself, to keep coming up with new and more daring ways of barring your masculinity. Real men don’t give in to pressure, but then again, real men aren’t afraid to try something new. So, I decided to go with my girlfriend’s mother to her weekly yoga class at the JCC (5520 Wyoming NE). Now I know what it really takes to be a man.

The only men in the class were me and this other guy—a fifty-something burly dude with lots of chest hair—and 20 women. I borrowed some extra yoga pants from my girlfriend’s little sister and sat barefoot on a thin, purple mat at the front of the studio so a larger majority of the class could see my hindquarters when I bent over.

Going into the class, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew men involved with yoga to be effeminate, to say the least. Usually what came to mind were middle-aged volunteer conversationalist hippies wearing spandex and purple tank tops, their long hair pulled back in a pony tail—not manly in the least.

This presented a major problem, considering I had a reputation to preserve. The exercises began innocently enough … and then slowly but surely progressed into being one of the most painful tests of endurance and strength of my athletic career. It takes a true man to lay on his back, stick his legs straight out in the air, spread them and just when he thinks that he can’t hold them in that position any longer, have the instructor come over, caress his inner thighs and whisper to spread them wider. I felt like Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain.

I learned something in that hour and a half nothing other than yoga could have taught me—true men have to be truly comfortable with their manliness. I encourage all men out there who believe the only way to declare their domain of virility is by resorting to crude, pre-historic actions of violence, apathy or boisterousness, to reconsider their definition of the term.

I challenge them to put their masculinity to the test. Go out and drink a nonfat soy mocha latte. Become engulfed in the taboo wonders of Sex and the City. Even go to work wearing a dress. I think, however, it would be much simpler to find your nearest yoga studio and discover the true meaning of you inner man.