October 26, 2013

Halloween: Yoga, Sugar & Corpses.

The last time I really dressed up for Halloween, I was probably 12.

I vaguely remember wearing a cowgirl outfit and carrying a plastic pumpkin-shaped bin big enough for a mountain of candy.

Not that it would last; I had (okay—have) a little sugar problem. True story: when I was young, I used to go trick-or-treating in the middle of the year, like in July—and people actually gave me candy.

What I do remember is my dad did the greatest thing ever for me that night—he showed me The Exorcist. And that’s how it all began: a life-long love of horror movies. I’m a pretty mellow person, but I’m talking about the low-budget, grainy, super-gory ones that could almost pass as snuff films. (I don’t know what’s wrong with me.) If you’ve ever seen the original Last House on the Left, you know what I mean. And October is here, my favorite month—they show the movie Halloween a thousand times in a row.

It’s called getting your ya-ya’s out. And I’ve been told my entire adult life I look like Jamie Lee Curtis, so it’s totally meant to be.

My husband thinks it’s ridiculous to spend money to scare yourself on purpose. I do see his point, especially after seeing Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer—in the theater—but you know what? It’s just a movie.

We all have a dark side. Back in the late 80’s, some of us spent half a decade wearing nothing but black and listening to The Cure (I know, so original). Not that I was hell bent on being all goth-y or planning my suicide, but I did spill a serious amount of black hair dye on the bathroom carpet.

And it didn’t stop there.

The dark lipstick. The fucked up tights. I shaved the side of my head. And it was a time in L.A. when people first started shopping at used clothing stores on Melrose. In reality, I was probably running around wearing somebody’s aunt’s old church outfit from the 60’s.

Whatever…it’s not like I was planning on going to Harvard Law.

This is where yoga comes in. Have you ever known someone who does yoga, but is still kind of a miserable bastard? The guy who gets to class, stomps around and slams his mat down in the corner? Don’t judge. That’s the guy who needs yoga the most, so move over, Rover, let the angry guy go wherever he wants.

Luckily, they’re few and far between, because here’s the thing: like it or not club kids, over time, yoga makes you happy. You do enough heart openers, and something starts to shift. When was the last time you saw a yoga mat with skulls on it? Or the image of The Bride of Frankenstein? And would it be wildly inappropriate to paint my face like a Mexican sugar skull right before I teach yoga?

Or better: I’m halfway tempted to dress up on Halloween like the young, crackle-faced devil-possessed Linda Blair and play The Exorcist theme in my next class just to see what will happen. (And while we’re here, gotta tell ya, I’ve always thought Father Damien was unbelievably hot. East coast hot.)

Speaking of The Day Of The Dead, there’s a little something in yoga we all know and love called “Corpse Pose.” Spooky much? I swear, you can’t make this shit up.

Luckily, yoga teaches us to recognize what is and isn’t real, so you don’t have to be afraid of it. According to the sutras fear, among other primitive urges like anger, hatred and jealousy is an “impurity of the mind.” Yawn... What is this, Davy and Goliath? I’m guessing nine out of 10 people would say a dirty mind is way more fun, and the 10th one is just jealous. And there’s more:

Asanaphobia: Fear of yoga, and by extension, life, death, twerking, spiders, caricaturists, getting stabbed, being tickled to death and people who are shrill, loud, or otherwise annoying. Also ignorance, roller coasters and getting older.

Some of those may not apply, but what the hell? Just play the game.

Friedrich Nietzsche said “In the last analysis, even the best man is evil.” I realize this might not be the greatest news you’ve heard all day. My advice? Get to yoga ASAP. Maybe try wearing some color. Be happy—it’s not that bad. And pour some sugar on me, on you, on everyone. It’s Halloween.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

Sugar Skull Girl Photo: therealkatsketch on YouTube.

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