Our theme for the month of July is “stunt journalism.” Writers were asked to try something new, take on a challenge, or perform some other interesting feat strictly for the purpose of writing about it.
For my piece of stunt journalism this month, I decided to go small. It’s summer, I reasoned. I’m a tired, old millennial like Paul. All the stunts I wanted to do—sleep all day, get another cat, drive to the only waterfall in Indiana—were objectively lame.
So instead, I decided to be cool for a day and do hot yoga. The Hot Room in Indianapolis promises to work every part of your body, offering a twenty-six-posture routine that strengthens, tones, reenergizes, and increases metabolism.
For $99/month. In a room kept artificially hot. With mirrors. Blech.
Lucky for me, The Hot Room was offering a free event at a local park last week.
Even better, a friend visiting from Grand Rapids agreed to act as my buffer during the event. He looks even less like he does yoga outside in a park. Mostly because he’s male, but also because he’s six foot three and paler than an Alaskan chess club captain.
Holliday Park on a Thursday evening was packed—food trucks come every week, as do the normal park-visitors, and this week so did the local chamber orchestra for an outdoor concert. The park is dominated by “the ruins,” a chunk of building that looks like the façade of a Roman bathhouse. The façade is circled by a ring of pillars inside which a patch of prickly, burned grass grows.
We parked forever away and made our pilgrimage through a muggy Indiana summer day toward the ruins, the promised site of the extremely warm yoga.
Turquois and pink mats created a grid inside the circle. Every Lisa Frank-colored rectangle was topped by a woman in an artfully baggy tank-top and skin-tight yoga pants. Together they dipped into child’s pose as we approached.
Me: Um, this looks serious.
Him: Doesn’t look like there’s room.
Me: Maybe we could go outside the circle?
Him: That’d be weird…
Me: How are they all wearing yoga pants?
Him: [no comment, keeping tastefully quiet] Me: I don’t understand. Where does underwear go in those?
We circled around the outside of the group as a woman with amazing voice projection suggested everyone forget about the stresses of their day. A patch of browned grass called to us from the far side of the circle. I pointed, wishing I hadn’t seen it.
Two women—in tank-tops and yoga pants with turquois yoga mats strapped to their backs—jogged beautifully from the opposite direction. The brown grass, I surmised, had been calling to them.
“We should probably just keep walking.”
“Look! Food trucks!”