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Would You Hold a Stranger’s Hand? [My Embarrassing Moment in Hot Yoga, Badly Illustrated]

Posted Jul 09 2012 1:01am

I can be nose to tail with someone in Down Dog.

I can have someone’s bunion-ed foot right in my face during Warrior III.

I can do Bird of Paradise and “shine” my crotch at all the crotches “shining” back at me.

I can even handle it when someone else drips sweat on my mat because when the room is 100+ degrees there’s so much sweat flying that exchange of bodily fluids is pretty much inevitable.

So what threw me off the other day in my hot yoga class? The teacher asked us to reach out from a low Crescent Lunge and… hold our neighbors’ hands. See, unless they’re preschoolers and ashes are about to fall down (what does that even mean?!) I’m really not into holding strangers’ hands. For one thing, we’re all holding hands but nobody’s making eye contact. Is that weird or just me?

But I did it! I’m a team player! I’m zen! I’m totally fine with the guy next to me caressing my thumb! There’s like a chakra there or something, right?

The problem is that we were supposed to be holding each other up but my feet were so slippery that I was ever so slowly dragging the whole line down. Being yogis (and Minnesotans), of course they tried to be polite. My neighbors even tried to pull me back up. But like the slowest cheerleader ever I kept sliding towards the splits. So I dropped my back knee down. And then this happened:

Despite my sweaty palms, apparently I still had a decent grip since I brought my neighbors down to their knees as well. Who in turn pulled their neighbors down. Within about 4 seconds our whole row domino-ed from Happy Shiny Yogis to Jewish Bottle Dance from Fiddler on the Roof . Frankly I think that was a win. Also, we might be married now.

How do you feel about holding strangers’ hands? Have you ever had an embarrassing yoga moment? Ever taken down a whole row of people?


Start at minute 8:30 for the bottle dance. Start at the beginning if you want to be humming “Sunrise, Sunset” all day and tearing up at inappropriate moments. Boy howdy do I love this movie!!

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