By Harley Quinn

Yoga changed my life. I was feeling tired and lethargic. When I looked in the mirror, I saw that my investment in myself had gained considerable interest. Something had to be done, and fast. I heard about a new Yoga instructor in town named Seeherbenda Yagottawonda. I went down to sign up, not knowing what to really expect.

There, in the Margaretville Commons, was this beautiful, dark skinned woman with a beatific smile. She spoke to me in a soft, soothing voice and I was immediately entranced. She signed me up with little fanfare and I was enrolled in a program that met at my convenience, three times a week.
The first class went beautifully. In the same sweet voice she talked me through the various positions, using her body to demonstrate and reinforce what we were doing.

“Breathe in…breathe out. Breathe in…breath out. “she said with each new position.
“Look at me!” I exclaimed to myself. “I’m a regular yogi master from Brooklyn.” You’d think I was walking on water, I was so exhilarated. I left the first lesson feeling great.

“I’ll teach those blocked chakras to make me tired. I’ll smack them from one side of my meridian to the other. I’ll unblock them like a Roto Rooter busting through a clogged drain, like Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill, like John Wayne breaking down a wall to save Maureen O’Hara.” I was feeling very full of myself.

Well, pride goeth before the fall, or at least by Columbus Day, as I found out at my second lesson. I stood on my rubber mat in front of the rubber maid. In the same sweet, soft voice she asked me to get into a sitting position.

“Now grab your right ankle and pull your leg up behind your head.” She said, demonstrating the position.

I did my best to comply and with much grunting and pulling, I managed to do it.

“Now do the same with your left leg.” She said, easily accomplishing the move.

I struggled and yanked and finally I was able to imitate her position. What I didn’t know was that my instructor was the product of genetic modification by the B.F. Goodrich Corporation. As I sat there gazing down at my behind, taking shallow breaths, she came up with the next move.

“Now take your big toes, and stick them in your ears.” She did it smoothly and easily. “Breathe in….breathe out. Breathe in…breathe out.”

“Well, in for a penny”….I did as she said. When my ears were well plugged, my body decided it had had enough. My muscles began to cramp and I was in excruciating pain. I immediately tried to unwind, but I was stuck fast.

“Help me, help me!” I cried in a voice seriously constrained by my compressed lungs.
“I can’t hear youuuu. My toes are in my earearrrrs.” She responded in a dulcet sing-song voice. By now I was running in circles around the room on my hands like a wind-up toy, screaming like a lovesick sea gull.

“Whawk, whawk, whawk, help me, help me, help me.”

“Breathe in…breathe out. Breathe in…breath out.”

Finally, Ms. Yagottawonda saw me and rushed to my aid. She did her best to unwind me, but my muscles were frozen and despite her efforts I remained contorted and imprisoned in my legs. She called 911 and soon help arrived. The Margaretville Fire Chief looked at me in disbelief.

“Looks like a job for the Jaws of Life,” he said, reaching for his radio.

Before he could employ his draconian remedy, the E.M.T. squad dumped me on a stretcher and carted me off to the E.R.

The P.A. on duty took one look at me and ran to the hospital library. He came back with an old dog-eared book entitled “Unusual Emergency Presentations”.

As he thumbed through the book I could hear him muttering to himself: “Nope, that ain’t it. Nope, not that one either. Hold it a minute …nope that poor guy fell into a pretzel machine in Düsseldorf. Hmph, guess this is a new one. Call The Daily Star.”

An anesthesiologist was called in and they placed a mask over my face, instructing me: “Breathe in….breathe out. Breathe in…breathe out.”

I drifted off into a celestial, pain-free place, replete with cherubim, and then all went black. When I awoke, I was unwound and I felt wonderful. There, next to me on the bed was a certificate of graduation from the yoga class. I felt reenergized and absolutely confident.

While I was asleep I dreamed of the future. I knew what I had to do. I converted my barn so it looked like a cave and started an ashram. I got a religious tax exemption and changed my name to Sri Baba Ganoosh. Now all I have to do is sit and wait for all those baby boomers to get up here. They’ll flock to my cave in droves. My future is secure. Boy, am I glad I took those yoga lessons.~

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