I have little tricks to get me through my Bikram Yoga classes. If you do Bikram Yoga regularly you do too. Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror after the push up at the end of the spine strengthening series and think to yourself, holy shit…I could be in a Whitesnake video? I actually do. I admit it. I do. One of my deepest, darkest, yoga secrets is what I like to think of the Whitesnake Yoga Mat Crawl.
What, you ask, is the Whitesnake Yoga Mat Crawl? You know the part after the spine strengthening series when you are supposed to “push up and move to the top of your mat”? This is my least favorite part of class. It’s not camel. It’s not triangle. It’s this weird little transition. Sometimes when I transition from the floor to the top of my mat I undo my messy bun, flip my sweat drenched hair out of my eyes, look at my mascara smeared eyes and feel as if I missed my true calling. I should be married to an 80s rock star doing yoga on the hood of his car. And sometimes, if no one I know is nearby and the teacher is on the other side of the room, I do the Whitesnake Yoga Mat Crawl. No one else sees it. No one pays attention to me in class and I hide in the corners. And it is very subtle. You would have to know what to look for.
Most people don’t know what to look for it because most people have no idea what I am talking about. If you are old enough to know of Whitesnake you probably have forgotten about them. Most of you probably just don’t know at all. For those of you sad people who fall into that category, here is a little history lesson. Whitesnake was a band in the 80s. They sang a song called “Here I go Again on my Own.” Whitesnake made a video. The video had an amazingly sexy woman, Tawny Kitaen. Tawny Kitaen crawled around on the hoods of two jaguars parked next to each other. Tawny Kitaen did not just crawl around on the hoods of the jaguars but also did the splits and cartwheels on the jaguars. Let me emphasize that—she did cartwheels on the jaguars. She was married to David Coverdale the lead singer of Whitesnake. They got divorced in 1991. She subsequently went to jail and rehab. But she will always have the glory of being known as the “Whitesnake car girl”. No one can take that away from her. You should know this and you should be ashamed of yourself if you don’t.
Here is why I really do the Whitesnake Yoga Mat Crawl. It’s not because I think I should be crawling around on jaguars while 80s rock stars sing to me. I mean, that would be awesome but I’m 41. Those days have passed for me. I’m old and injured. The Whitesnake Yoga Mat Crawl is not an attempt to recapture the daydreams of my youth. The truth is it actually takes a minute for me to make my body move when the spine strengthening series is over. I have a semi-serious SI joint issue and I get stuck in that transition. When I get stuck it hurts. And when it hurts I have to think about something else. I choose to think not about the pain in my hip or the surgery I am avoiding but rather to channel my inner Whitesnake car girl. I don’t think she had SI joint issues. Although after re-watching the video I think she likely does now. It certainly doesn’t look like her hip hurt then though. However, if it did, she sure didn’t let it show and it did not stop her. She powered through and went on to make out with her 80s rock star husband in the back of the same car, apparently while it was moving. She was a sexy, badass.
Little did I know in 1987 that this would become my theme song and has and will be blasted from various car radios, walkmen, CD players and ipods for years. It’s the ultimate break up song. And little did I know in 1987 that in 2013 I would think of this video almost every day at yoga class. I hope David Coverdale knows the profound impact he has had on my life.
So if you ever look over to my corner and wonder why I’m frozen in a strange position, it’s probably because I am imagining myself doing the Whitesnake Yoga Mat Crawl. I ask you not to judge me and simply to respect my moment. The same way I respect your moments. We all have them. We all have our little tricks to get us through. Yours may not involve Whitesnake but you know you have them. Do whatever it takes.