So, in a remarkable and totally unexpected moment this evening, I taught a yoga class.
OK, so that's a *slight* exaggeration - I didn't teach the entire class, but I did teach a bit. This is how:
For those outside of the UK or just totally unaware, today was Red Nose Day, which is a charity thing started off by a load of comedians about 20 years ago that encourages people to buy red noses and do silly things to raise money, before culminating in a telethon of varying quality which, personally, I tend not to watch because I'm young and exciting and have much better things to do (like an early night), but mainly because it's actually a bit shit. But I'm up for doing my bit for charity, so when my yoga studio announced they were going to do a special Friday night class taught by one of my favourite teachers in aid of Comic Relief I thought 'yeah, I'll have a bit of that.'
The idea behind the whole thing was that for every person who wore something red the studio would donate half their class fee to charity, which when you bear in mind the studio can hold 60 people and a single class costs 14 quid, that's a pretty decent lump of cash. The only problem here, though, was that I don't own any red clothes. Well, apart from a couple of jumpers, but I wouldn't want to wear them in class because they'd get sweaty and, quite frankly, I'd probably die.
This led me to breeze into Westfield on Wednesday evening because there's a big sports shop there and I thought I could pick up a pair of cheap and crappy red shorts. Alas, no. The big sports shop is immense, rammed full of stuff, and very haphazardly laid-out. I had no idea whether I was in the men's bit, the ladies' bit, or the children's bit, and the closest I came to red shorts was a red hockey skirt which was confusingly hung up by the men's swimming trunks. I vetoed this, however, based on the fact that every time I did a forward bend in class I'd be flashing the person behind me.
So, I went home disappointed.
But I did have one other idea…
Basically, in addition to the little red noses that Comic Relief sells…
… (which quite frankly this year completely cut off any ability to breath through your nose, smell slightly toxic, and look a bit like a shrivelled-up old man's testicle) they also sell larger red noses that you can attach to the front of your car.
And so I bought one of these and using some lengths of elastic, fashioned it into a manly codpiece. Of course.
Photo taken at work, probably when I should've been working, shortly after completing work on what is quite possibly the sexiest thing I've ever worn.
And at half five I rocked up to the studio. I didn't don my amazing creation straight away because I wanted to expose it to maximum effect when the class was full, so I just hid it under my towel and waited for class to start. What made the whole thing even better, though, was the fact that I'd previously told the teacher what I had planned, and she bought two car red noses and fashioned them into a bikini. So, in effect, I was the Adam to her Eve.
So, as class started and we all jumped up, I pulled my codpiece on. And then everyone looked, and the whole room exploded with laughter. This might come as a surprise to you, but I've never had around 60 people staring at my groin and laughing before. It actually made me feel quite special (I'll leave you to guess which definition of the word you think I mean).
D'ya know what though? Aside from the first posture, where it completely destroyed my ability to perform a forward bend, and the entire belly down series for obvious reasons, codpiece was awesome. Particularly in triangle and standing head to knee I actually found it quite helpful as it kind of forced me to stand with my legs wide. I could be on to something here; I think newbies should be made to wear them so they know they're doing it right. I felt EMPOWERED.
As mentioned, wearing the codpiece in the belly-down series was nigh on impossible because it forced me to stick my arse up in the air, so I stripped out of it and wore it on my head for the rest of the class.
I'm pleased to say that it wasn't just me making a tit of myself, though. While Mandy who was teaching wore her red nose bikini, Helen, who owns the studio and was taking part in class, wore a freakishly-terrifying Simon Cowell mask. And at random points they started playing recordings of Bikram himself doing the dialogue, which was mad and brilliant. We were also made to shout "YEE-HAH!" every time we did a sit-up, but I can't remember why.
Oh, yes, and then I taught a posture.
A bit like the whole "YEE-HAH" thing, I can't actually remember how I ended up teaching a posture, but Mandy thought it would be funny, and the next thing I know I'm standing on the podium in front of 60 or so people wearing a radio mic like I'm Madonna circa 1990's Blond Ambition tour. The posture I'd been assigned to teach was head to knee pose with stretching pose, or Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana if you want to be fancy (although you try saying that with 120 expectant eyes staring back at you). The benefits of this posture are many and varied, but let's just say it's good for you ankles, knees, hips, and kidneys, and will help keep you regular.
So there I am standing in front of the class, half tempted to break into song or start voguing or something, and Mandy say "go on then - they're all yours." And I was off.
I don't mean to be big-headed, because I'm *not* a teacher, but I've been in enough classes to have heard the dialogue enough times for at least some of it to stick in my brain alongside all the Star Trek trivia, Panic! At the Disco song lyrics, and dirty jokes I've picked up over the years. There was one point where I went quiet because everyone just looked AWESOME, but then Mandy told me to say something so I started picking on Helen just to give me something to say.
In all seriousness, it was pretty amazing - and a huge responsibility - to think that everyone was relying on me to tell them what to do, and the moment when I said "change" to get everyone to swap their right leg for their left leg was just brilliant. It was like I was directing a little sweaty ballet. And then it was over, followed swiftly by the end of what was THE FUNNIEST class I've ever taken part in.
We had some photos taken in reception afterwards, where I pumped my chest up and sucked in my gut to make myself look even more amazing than usual. If you're lucky, when they're up on the studio website I'll nab copies and post them here. I'm sweaty and wearing only shorts and a codpiece - although that doesn't really sound terribly attractive, so it's probably best I don't, eh?
One barely used, slightly sweaty Comic Relief red nose engineered to act as a codpiece for the respectable gentleman around town.
One careful owner; elastic still stretchy. Guaranteed to make you look and feel immeasurably more sexy. Email usual address for details.
The yoga studio popped a photo up on their Facebook page. Warning: there's PARTIAL NUDITY from yours truly. Check it out HERE, then tell me I look sexy in the comments.