A Yoga Affair in Little Italy

I arrive on the yoga mat with bones, body, and soul frazzled. I.AM.YOU Yoga is on the sixth floor of a building deep in the heart of Little Italy. It's my first visit. Outside: Waiters in white coats, wives in Juicy Couture, and husbands scarfing canolis in Sopranos tees. Inside (by way of stainless steel elevator): Lauren, remarkably toned former investment banker in skintight, black short shorts, a dozen black yoga mats laid out in tight rows on the polished hardwood, and twin turntables at the ready. Mister Bob Dalbolina kicks off a tremendously physical yoga series to soothe the tightly wound souls of the very fit mostly female class. All good, but on this night, in these very close quarters, I realize to my horror that caffeine and stress are rising from me in pungent form. Oh god, I'm stinky.

And I'm sweating profusely, inches away from an unsuspecting and very beautiful woman. My mind races. With every air-circulating shift from downward dog to Warrior One, I try to will the toxins streaming from my body into a containing pond on my mat. Ah, poor girl, I'm so sorry. Mat neighbors are like lovers, I think, a whisper apart, sharing glances of shoulder, calf, and crotch. But they can neither run, nor just dive in and mix their sweat and smell. Lauren counts our breaths, and, adjusts us — at one point straddling my legs and bravely draping her body over my sweaty back. Finally, we all lie in the dark, motionless, and Lauren massages our necks and rubs our temples. When the lights come up, we replace our blocks and blankets silently. My neighbor slips on her jeans and disappears. I never say hello, or I'm sorry about the pits...or anything. Instead I land on the street dehydrated, and order a lemon gelato from the restaurant downstairs. That was like sex, I think, or sex substitute. Complete with inarticulate awkwardness. Rheesus monkeys will go crazy if not held after birth. New Yorkers gather in dark apartments, put their mats inches apart, turn up the music and sweat together in silence.

Where (gym, studio, etc.): : 
NYC Loft (Via <a href="">Payton Chung</a>.)
Workout Date: 
Tue, 05/04/2010 (All day)


this sounds like an amazing experience...

msh258's picture

"Rheesus monkeys will go crazy if not held after birth. New Yorkers gather in dark apartments, put their mats inches apart, turn up the music and sweat together in silence."

Man, isn't that the truth?  Nicely told.

zuzupetals's picture

funny and so true and beautifully written.  thanks oliver

Butwhatifido's picture

such genuine and vulnerable storytelling- beautiful, honest, and oh so relatable

sassletics82's picture

It's ok, Oliver - everyone has to be the smelly kid sometimes.

vonhottie's picture

wow, oliver, your writing just steamed my windows up.

sandyliz's picture

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