Musings on the Coast

By Michael Ray
By Michael Ray

Adventures in Yoga Land

As readers of this column may recall, last summer I began taking yoga lessons from a hot young thing named Kyrui Lin. She worked me like a beast and she introduced me to Shavasana, the touchy-feely spiritual thing where your mind wanders into space and you experience the Great Connectedness.

For herself, Kyuri found a hot new boyfriend who is a Jesus look-a-like. He was visiting L.A. for a long yoga “workshop.” His home is on Maui’s north shore. Before returning, he invited Kyuri to attend his own three-week workshop in Maui in February. She could stay at his place, free.

So let me summarize. I had found a great exercise and Shavasana, and  Kyuri had found true love and was about to attend Jesus’ workshop in paradise.

Oh, how the gods play with us.

As the time for her departure neared, Kyuri stepped-up the intensity of my workouts. She twisted and stretched me into impossible positions.   Even when I thought I had reached my limit, she would physically push—as in shove me with her whole body weight—into yet more impossible positions.

When my middle back started to hurt, I assumed it was just a pulled muscle and ignored it. Then Kyuri left and my back got much worse. Every time I moved abruptly, it felt like an electric jolt ripping through me. It did not go away and it did not get better.

I went to my doc and she told me I probably had a cracked rib and ordered X-rays. They were negative. Hmm, the doc thought, that was odd, maybe it was more serious: maybe it was hairline fracture in my spinal column. That would not be good.

She ordered more X-rays. Still negative. Then she asked a simple question: what exercising had I been doing? I told her of Kyuri and yoga and….and that got the look. My doc eyed me. I was a specimen she found wanting. Unworthy.

She said cool the body pounding, cool ODing with the hot young yoga girl. Just cool it. Take Advil to reduce the swelling and do nothing until it stops hurting.

That was my story. No more yoga, no more shavasana. In the meantime, Kyuri arrived in Maui.

Jesus picked her up at the airport and drove to the north shore where he parked his car in a jungle clearing. It was at night. From there, they hiked to his abode on a narrow path that twisted and turned for a good hundred yards. It was muddy. It was wet. It was the jungle.

Worse, it was full of spider webs. They were crab spiders, an invasive species notorious for spinning webs across big spaces in less than an hour. Meaning, Kyuri kept walking face first into webs and accumulated spider debris (like web strands, dead insects and oh, spiders) in her hair, her clothes, and on her body.

That was her first impression: spider webs. Here was her second: Jesus’ shack was really a shack. It had no electricity, no plumbing, no fresh water, no kitchen, no bathroom, no shower, no nothing. It was one tiny room. Fifty yards from the shack was a very crude outhouse and hundred yards in a different direction was a cold cistern shower. And soap? Right……

There was a disheveled bed with a mosquito net over it because, of course, it was the jungle and mosquitos were not the only bugs trying to get in. The net had holes. Kyrui woke each morning with even more bites and welts.

Jesus was part of a “community” which believed in the “natural world.” This included not attending to basic hygiene, like taking showers or brushing teeth. He stank. His breath was putrid. He had large, open skins sores.

She was supposed to sleep with him?

Then, because it was winter, the downpours were almost constant. Winds gusted at 50 knots. The shack leaked. The rain was sideways walking on that path with the spider webs spun no matter what.

Then she met his friends. No one had real jobs or any money; they bartered instead. For girls, shaving legs or armpits was not accepted practice, nor was wearing anything approaching the word “fetching.” For that matter, no one wore much of anything except rags. So yes, cool, there were plenty of naked beaches, but who wants to watch unwashed people with large skin sores?

And that three-week yoga training session? Well, Jesus had not gotten it together enough to get it together.

In the second week, Jesus left for four days to join his dad on the other side of the island. Kyuri, alone, wept for three, then remade her plane reservations to return early.

So this is karma? Kyuri got covered by spiders, the hippies stank, my back frigging hurts, but I love yoga and our next session is Monday.

Michael Ray grew up in Corona del Mar and now lives in Laguna Beach.  He makes a living as a real estate entrepreneur and is involved in many non-profits.


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