[You never know when and how something will be set in motion. Back in June of this year we did a profile on a YouTube video by a man promoting something called “Outlaw Yoga,” a quasi-(but not really)-movement which hopes to
“bring yoga to the people—all people—young and old, short and tall, skinny and fat, veggie loving vegans and carnivorous couch potatoes, hardcore bikers and hard charging cyclists, gals and dudes, fighters and lovers, soldiers and tree huggers! Everyone!”
That’s right, jerk-offs. You’re all included in the great pantheon of Outlaw Yoga demigods. Of course, we had no idea we would ever get the chance of actually meeting the man behind the mission, and in truth we have yet to do so. BUT! The very great, CHAZ MAGNUM, one of the most adventurous professional yogis saw a chance to get rocked, and jumped head first into the Outlaw Yoga soup. Thank you, Chaz for your bravery and enthusiasm for the practice.]
“BUCKLE UP FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE” by Chaz Magnum
The above title is the advice I would give anyone planning on attending an Outlaw Yoga class (trademarked w/optional t-shirts and emblazoned yoga mats) with none other than the man himself…Justin Outlaw.
First, I think it’s important you realize that the video featured in your “This Guy Has Got to Fuck the Universe on the Daily” article is, in many ways, a completely accurate portrayal of the experience.
In other ways, however, it’s utterly misleading. For instance, if six-pack abs and shirtless instructors are you’re thing, you will be sorely disappointed. Let’s just say that in the intervening time between last night and whenever the promo video was shot, Justin has managed to loose his “amateur cage fighting” physique and has adopted a more “sattvic” beer-belly approach to bad-assness. For real. The dude has got to be 30-40 lbs heavier, and it’s all front loaded, brother.
Man, I so wish you had been there! Other highlights included:
- Realizing how liberating it was to scream “FUCK!” in a yoga studio
- Crossing my eyes and sticking out my tongue like some dysfunctional sort of Simba
- The standard lightly-veiled sexual innuendos regarding how “large” and “thick” Justin’s “mat” is
- Justin’s knuckle tattoos which spell out santosha (with the second “a” emblazoned in an Ⓐ symbol)
- The mini-therapy session for the “large” girl who revealed her inner insecurities of talking to strangers and how Justin’s program has helped her conquer these demons
- The subsequent commentary by a hipster girl decked out in a full florescent leotard/sweat-band (wrist and head) ensemble who let us know that at one point in time she wanted to kill herself, and that choosing not to was an example of fearlessness
Really. The list could go on and on.
As for the class…. I have to admit I was a bit nervous entering the dragon’s lair as I’m just beginning to recover from a freak lower back injury. As it turns out, those bandhas are kind of crucial when it comes to practice. However, the toastiness of the room helped warm things up. That and the fact that during the two hour class there was probably only a solid forty-five minutes of actual asana. I mean, if you take out the opening verbal “share-fest” there really isn’t that much time left for the making of poses. But rest assured, despite Justin’s apparent penchant for the “bud” (see Facebook page)…
…he makes up for lost time by essentially running you through an assortment of variations on sun salutations at crack-paced speed with “inspirational” music loud enough to make the young at heart feel old. And then, just when you think it’s about to get as hard as everyone around told you it’s going to be, we take a break to explore handstands, or as I like to refer to it, the King of Ego pose.
In my experience people spend way too much time working on handstands to the neglect of far more fundamental asanas. But hey, I was along for the ride, so I ponied up and went for it. We worked on the handstands in pairs with our partners ensuring that we didn’t come tumbling down to the ground by placing a fist firmly between our legs, being careful to always enter from the butt-side and not the crotch-side. This went on for “a while,” long enough for people to begin standing around and chatting before Justin pulled the reins back in to bring us down the home stretch.
Unfortunately, the finale lacked the luster of the beginning, ending more with a whimper than a trumpet blast. Although, the final communal clapping of the hands was a nice send off, because, as you may not know, the only rule in Outlaw Yoga is that when one person claps…everyone claps. Apparently, this is done so no one is left clapping by themselves, which I’m not sure why a legit Outlaw would give a shit if s/he were the only one clapping. But, it was yet another highlight of the evening.
Needless to say, it was an entertaining Thursday night. And, with the studio being sauna hot, I got a good sweat on.
In the end, I will say this: I think Justin is a really, really nice guy who is super happy to be doing what he is doing, and is completely and totally sincere when he gives you a bro-hug and says he hopes to see you again soon.
Maybe you should think about moving, and we can make it a regular part of our week.