I’ve recently developed a new and rather unfortunate habit. No, ma, I’m not on drugs. It’s much more benign than that. Though I do think this idea has potential to spread and become almost as trendy as a Molly addiction.
I’ve taken to walking around New York City dressed in yoga pants, stretchy tops or baggy sweatshirts and sneakers, whilst carrying a yoga bag. It’s a great look whether you’re going to lunch, out shopping (my yoga bag has a perfect sized pocket for your phone and wallet – which is the same thing if you’re me), or just sitting in a cafe writing a blog like I’m doing right now. I suppose it would also work if you were going to yoga, but I wouldn’t know as I’ve never been to a yoga class.*
[See what I mean about the cell phone wallet? Highly convenient way to have all your important shit lost or stolen at once.]
I know what all my mom friends are thinking right now. Um…Sarah, you’re not the first person to walk around in yoga pants all day, every day. I’ve been doing it for the past six years. To which I say, that’s true. BUT do you carry around a yoga bag? Because the bag is key. That’s the part that makes people think you’re actually exercising. If all you’re carrying around is a kid (and the myriad accessories that go with kids) then everyone already knows that you barely have time to shower daily, never mind attend yoga class.
I got the idea a couple of weeks ago on the way to a gig.
A friend asked me to sing in an operatic flash mob at his cousin’s gay wedding and I wasn’t about to turn down that gig. I would’ve done it anyway because I really love this friend and I was delighted to help make his cousin’ special day extra special, but seriously, what thinking person passes up the opportunity to sing in an operatic flash mob at a gay wedding? In the park. On a gorgeous summer evening.
No one, that’s who.
Especially when I learned that I’d be doing it in yoga pants.
The grooms thought it would look more realistic if the singers were dressed as random people in the park, rather than wedding guests who just spontaneously start singing. I completely agreed and was happy to go incognito.
We were performing the famous ‘Brindisi’ from La Traviata. For those of you who aren’t opera-philes, you can listen to it here:
[For my opera-loving friends, I chose this particular video solely because it was the first one to come up when I searched for ‘libiamo’ on YouTube and I didn’t feel like taking the time to search for the perfect example. Feel free to post links to better videos in the comments section. Though I do really like Matthew Polenzani.]
Our tenor was dressed as a waiter. He mingled amongst the crowd carrying a tray, picking up wine glasses at the champagne reception before the ceremony was set to begin. Because there was already music playing, no one thought twice when the intro to ‘Libiamo’ started. However, people did notice when he whipped out a microphone and started singing. They were totally surprised and it was awesome.
Then I walked up in full yoga attire, bag and all, and blended into the crowd that had assembled during the tenor’s solo. At the appropriate moment, I broke away from the crowd, walked to the center of the assembly (they were getting married in the round) and grabbed the mic from the tenor just in time to bust out with my verse. The crowd ate it up like breakfast. The grooms were happy and I had a blast. Everyone wins.
Because the wedding was on a Friday evening, I had to wear my yoga gear to work that day. I mean, I suppose I could’ve changed into my workout clothes at the office, but where’s the fun in that? I had to walk around with my yoga bag as well.
And let me tell you, I wielded that squishy, cylindrical bag like a broadsword all day long.
During my morning commute it was jostled by irate passengers on the overcrowded train, but I could tell that they were just jealous of the fact that I was able to cram a wonderfully meditative workout into my already busy schedule.
After getting off the subway, I walked across Central Park South looking as though I’d just completed a morning yoga sesh in the park. I even bought a green juice from the juice cart guy to complete the look.
By the time I reached my office building, no one could be in question of my supreme yoga abilities. Because there’s a yoga studio on the 10th floor of my building, everyone naturally assumed that’s where I was headed. (For the record, I can barely touch my toes, but they don’t know that. And therein lies the difference.)
I know what you’re thinking. Sarah, if there’s a yoga studio directly above your office, why don’t you get off your ass and do some friggin’ yoga? I thought about it. I even looked into it, briefly. But because I work on the Upper East side of Manhattan and everything is ridiculously expensive there, a membership at this particular ‘wellness center’ costs over $1200 a month! Thanks, but no.
I was alone in the office that day, so unfortunately no one got to bask in the glow of my totally centered, yogic excellence, but that’s okay because I brought my yoga bag with me when I went out to make the daily bank deposit, so at least the employees at Bank of America got to enjoy it.
That evening, before getting on the subway to go to the wedding, I put on some extra blush and lip gloss so I’d have that flushed, dewy, fresh from class look.
After the wedding I was feeling so pumped I thought I might actually wander into a random yoga studio and drop in on a class. Hell, at that point I figured I could probably teach the class!
But instead, I got back on the subway and headed home.
On the train, I locked eyes with a woman carrying a yoga bag just like mine, except hers was olive green. We exchanged a knowing look; the kind that only fellow yoga impostors can understand.
Unless of course, she really was coming from yoga. In which case, fuck her.
Seriously though, I don’t know how people find the time and energy to exercise. I got exhausted by simply pretending to exercise. In my defense, that bag did get kind of heavy after a while. I’m really glad I opted not to cram my laptop in there. I thought about it. And it did fit, but the shape would’ve been a dead giveaway, so I left it at home.
Anyway, despite the fact that there are no tangible health benefits from my fake it til you make it method, I think I still prefer it to the real deal.
Unlike actual exercise, you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately:
– You get to walk around in wicked comfortable workout clothes, without all the sweatiness and odor typically associated with exercise.
– People will perceive you as a health nut or a gym rat and you’ll get to feel the smug sense of superiority which I assume real healthy people get to feel all the time – without lifting a finger!
– You can cram a surprising amount of crap into a yoga bag (especially if you take the mat out) and no one will think to rob you because who the hell wants to steal somebody’s sweaty, germ-covered yoga mat?
So until I find an exercise regimen that doesn’t make me want to kill myself, I’m gonna keep faking it. Maybe I’ll try jazzercise or some type of martial art. I have been called a ninja on more than one occasion…
I’ll have a think on that. Maybe pop ‘exercise for lazy people’ into the Googler and see what comes up. If you have any ideas, by all means, leave them in the comments section.
Whelp, I’d better be off or I’ll be late for “class.”
[*I did try Bikram yoga a few years ago. There’s a studio in my neighborhood that offered an unlimited 7-day trial for $20. I went twice. I won’t bother writing about it because this guy already did. His account pretty much sums up my experience except my instructor was an impossibly thin hipster named Mat with one ‘T’ (I wish I could be kidding about that) and I didn’t meet my future ex-husband in class. You should take a minute to read it, it’s hilarious.]