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!”

Elaine Schnabel
After graduating from Purdue University with an MA in communication, Elaine Schnabel moved to Indianapolis where she rolls her eyes at the electoral map while earning her MA in theology at Fuller Seminary (online). She works a variety of part time jobs and, if invited to, she will talk about her cat for hours. She dreams of being a writer, a researcher of religious communication, and a professional soccer player.

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