There is one word uttered with fear and trembling at my hot yoga studio.
You hear it whispered in the locker room. You hear it mumbled by sweaty females stumbling out of the building. If you could hear inside people’s minds, you would hear it screamed every Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 6-7 PM.
The word is MARXEL. And he is my arch nemesis.
It was my understanding when I started doing hot yoga that I was going to sweat my brains out while also harnessing my inner chi. For a while that was the case. But then one fateful day I stumbled into Marxel’s sculpt class, only to find out what true hatred feels like.
Physically, he’s like a young, ethnically ambiguous Richard Simmons. The only things he wears are skin-tight biker shorts and spiky black hair. Unlike the other instructors, he counts aerobically to the beat of the music.
“Pulse it one! Two! Three and four-HARDER! One! Two! Three and four-WAKE UP! One! Two! Three–I WANT TO FEEL YOU BREATHING!”
When he senses your exhaustion, he turns the heat from 106 degrees to 109, and then has you take a break by doing mountain climbers.
I heard that a celebrity came to his class once. The celebrity started laughing after finding himself unable to do some of the poses. Marxel, on seeing his laughter, proceeded to inflict the toughest class he’d ever led. Later he tweeted “@Celebrity: I enjoyed mopping you off the floor at CorePower Yoga today.”
What kind of sick person has the audacity to mock la la’s royalty?
For months I thought I just needed to build the stamina to endure his torture. But when I went to a class with my yoga instructing friend (who teaches at his same studio) and neither of us were able to do more than half the class, I realized: The man is sick. He must be stopped before someone is killed.
While I no longer willfully submit myself to his persecution, I can’t fully escape him since he checks everyone in at the front desk before class. Before he scans your card he’ll ask, “Which class are you taking tonight? Mine? Or Megan’s?”
“Megan’s.” I muster shakily, avoiding eye contact.
Marxel nods his head and swipes my card with a brand of condescending look that can only be given by a flamboyant, disappointed aerobic instructor.
I continue to practice yoga multiple times a week, yet I live in constant first-world fear of the day someone will come into class and say, “Class, we have a sub today. Here to torture you is…(everything fades to slow-motion)