Greetings. Namaste. Please begin in a comfortable seated position, legs crossed in front. Hands on your knees, palms facing down. Close your eyes. Take a cleansing breath.
A brief announcement before we begin. We’ve determined that the odd occurrences many of you have reported are indeed due to a haunting. Although we don’t have details at this time, we can confirm that the spirits haunting the yoga studio are indeed malevolent.
Our ethical exorcist, Saffron Tempest, isn’t available for another week and a half. The good news is, though, that she also works as a plumber, and will be able to fix the leaky faucet in the ladies’ change room when she comes to purge the poltergeists.
Relax your arms, sending your shoulder blades down your back. Breathe.
We’re going to continue classes during the haunting. We believe in full transparency, which is why we’ve shared this news with you. We’re confident that you’ll still have the incredible Yoga Fantastic experience that all our classes offer, even with the evil spirits among us.
We’ll start by focusing on the breath. In for four, out for four. In for five, out for five. In for seven, out for seven. We won’t be breathing in for six as we’ve determined that opens a portal which allows spirits access to your inner core. Please try to avoid even thinking of the number six, as the ghosts will be able to dredge up your most painful childhood memory and have you relive it. Which was why Kumi broke down sobbing last week. We hope she’s feeling better.
You may have noticed that none of the overhead lights are on, and that we’ve set out candles. We learned that overhead lights agitate spirits terribly. They exploded several of the light bulbs. Fortunately our students only received minor lacerations. Well, except for Ishaan, but he’s doing fine. Now.
I encourage you to embrace the warm glow, and connect with the soft parts of you that the candle represents. Don’t worry when they blow out and then re-light. We’re told this is a normal part of any haunting. When the class inevitably goes into total darkness, I encourage you to close your eyes and reflect on the growth that comes from challenging situations. This opportunity will be even more pronounced for you if the candles are extinguished during a balancing pose.
Palms down on your knees please, at all times. Carol, your palms are up. That tells the spirits you’re available to inhabit and, oh. Too late. Our class attendant River will escort Carol from the class. Don’t worry, it takes a few minutes before the inhabiting spirit reaches full strength. River will easily be able to restrain Carol while sprinkling holy water in her eyes and ears. It’s all that time moving through chaturanga dandasana that’s given River their robust upper body strength. A good reminder for all of us to maintain our daily practice as it’s so essential for building and maintaining strength.
Come back to the breath. Focus on the breath. Just not in or out for a count of six.
I invite you to move onto all fours. This is where we would usually do a few rounds of cat and cow, but the cat pose appears to be an invitation of sorts for the spirits, so we’ll rotate through cow and table-top. No arching of your back please. That’s okay Amal, I know it’s a hard habit to break. That’s why mindFULNESS IS SO IMPORTANT TO OUR PRACTICE. TRY TO TUNE OUT THE CLATTERING WINDOW PANES AND FOCUS ON MY VOICE. AS SOON AS AMAL STOPS GOING INTO CAT POSE THE RATTLING SHOULD DIE DOWN. ANY TIME NOW AMAL. And good, back to table top. Perhaps we’ll cut the rounds short there.
Please all stand at the top of your mat, feet together, in mountain pose. Make sure to place your hands firmly against your thighs, palms towards your legs. We don’t want another Carol situation! Seriously, our holy water supplies are limited, and if people continue to place their palms up then students will have to provide their own holy water in class for exorcisms.
Deep breath, then raise your palms over your head and look up. We’ll go through a sun salutation now, so fold over, then halfway up, flat back. If you feel some pressure on your lower back, that is indeed one of the poltergeists who has chosen you to sit on. Use this as an opportunity for some resistance training to strengthen your core. Oh, looks like Dante got the particularly dense spirit. Get up from the floor as soon as you can Dante, and join in. Back into a forward fold. Rise up with a flat back, arms overhead. Now please don’t bring your hands to prayer in front of your heart as that causes blood to run down the walls. Hands back at your sides. Palms in, always in.
Step your left leg back and let’s all come into warrior two. Gaze straight ahead. Left arm down your leg, move into peaceful warrior. Henry, why would your palm be up on your leg? Palms are never up for peaceful warrior, that’s why I didn’t give a reminder. River, can you please escort Henry from class as well? Quickly, if you can, it looks like the demon spirit is inhabiting the spaces between his vertebrae which is why his spine is attempting to exit his body. Thank you.
Back to warrior two, gazing forward. And continue to breathe.
Windmill your arms to the front and step into plank. Ignore the spirit that has taken corporeal form underneath each of you and is screaming into your face. Don’t let your hips dip down – keep them steady to strengthen the core. Yes Edward, keep them steady even if the ghost is dragging you down to the ground. Focus on resistance to really engage those abdominal muscles.
We’ll skip chaturanga due to the spirits in our way and move straight into downward dog. Hips back and up. The ghosts are now levitating smaller objects in the room, so please check to see if your water bottle or towel is floating somewhere above you. If only the spirits would do this during headstand practice and give us a little boost, am I right? My inversion class people know what I’m talking about.
Look to the front of the mat and hop or walk your feet there, then rise up to a standing position, arms at your side.
Oops, looks like many of you have brought your hands into prayer, and there’s the blood running down the walls. River, please get the bucket and rags. I think the spirits are sensing some tension within the room, which is why they’re now spinning around us like a tornado and howling. If everyone could please relax and focus on their breathing.
Someone is definitely breathing for a count of six which we’ve discussed is not appropriate in the current conditions. Please cease immediately. Oh dear, I see multiple people with palms facing out. I’m afraid when the spirits are agitated like this they don’t treat the insides of the host body terribly kindly. Is that…are there frogs raining from the ceiling? Well, that’s a new one for me. Not sure what caused that.
We’ll have to cut class short here today. For those of you with the 10-class cards, this will count as a punch. If a frog follows you home and is not, in fact, an evil demon, you’re welcome to keep it as a pet, although you do so at your own risk. Please retrieve your personal possessions which are floating at the ceiling. Please stop trampling each other on your way to the exit. Namaste.
Amy Neufeld is a perfectly fine person who lives, works, knits, and writes in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Follow her quest to become a River Phoenix Movie Completist on her blog, www.librarypilgrim.blogspot.com. Amy has been published in Daily Drunk Magazine, Frazzled, Little Old Lady Comedy, and has written for CBC Radio’s The Irrelevant Show. Find her on Twitter @AmyRNeufeld.