4 out of 5 hot mess tinis
First, allow me to explain just how I ended up drunk at an aerial yoga class in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Lead Up
Planning Ahead, Not Thinking Ahead
I was going on a Phoenix trip with my three best friends from college and all of our significant others, who are a blast. The eight of us together were basically having a giant weekend party. For some reason when planning for the trip, we all thought it was a great idea to book an aerial yoga session for the LAST day of our trip (which we were always going to drink the entire time) and we scheduled the class in the EVENING (I mean honestly).
I Meant to Drink, But Not This Much
So on that last day, we started with a lovely boozy brunch at a resort in Scottsdale.
Drink count 10 AM: 1 (I'm feeling really responsible at this point)
After brunch, we asked for local recommendations, and were pointed in the direction of O.H.S.O. nano-brewery in Phoenix.
If you know me, you know I love beer. The second this recommendation was said my eyes lit up. I love trying craft beer and I love drinking beer in general. O.H.S.O. was right up my alley. We all decided to go.
The moment we walked into the brewery, our server informed us that it was happy hour and thus we were entitled to $1 upgrades from a beer to - wait for it - an entire pitcher.
You know what I did.
I polished off my pitcher in no time because it was phenomenal (I can’t recommend this place enough the beer is FANTASTIC). I sampled from a few of my friends’ pitchers as well, and then my boyfriend and I shared a second pitcher. Keep in mind this craft beer. These are not your bud light 4.5 percents. Again, I drank quickly because if this beer were artwork, it would in a museum.
Drink count at 2 PM: Probably 5 (feelin' real relaxed)
Since there were eight of us, we had to take two Ubers. Of the couples, all of the high functioning counterparts left before I, along with three of my friends, realized what happened. (We called these counterparts “A Group" because all of them have either a masters degree or a PhD. They're all far more organized and, if you can imagine, they were the ones in each relationship that are good at planning things and such. For the life of us, we could not figure out why they left the four of US together alone. For people who are really smart they didn't think that through.)
So I was left back with the superior FUN group, B Group. We finally called our Uber and she was headed our way, but we were like “well we have five minutes...secret shots!”
I'm all about being mysterious and secretive. I'm not going to NOT participate in a secret shot meeting. That's what A Group gets for leaving us! Missing out on fun secret shots! We took shots and then jumped in the Uber and A Group would never find out.
Drink count at 2:30 PM: 6 (Just to point it out, notice at this point I had already mixed beer, liquor, and wine (champagne) - what could go wrong).
So we Uber-ed home and were chatting with the driver. She was a blast, we explained B Group vs. A Group and she was laughing and was like “y’all are ridiculous” and finally we made it back to the hotel. We hopped out of the Uber and had to knock once we got to our hotel group because not ONE person in B Group had a hotel key (see why we designated the groups this way?)
We were happy to be back. But THEN.
A Group - those snakes - bamboozled us! It was a set up! We trusted these significant others and they betrayed us. When we walked in there were FOUR Smirnoff Ices waiting - one for each of us! THEY ICED US.
(If you don’t know what it is to be “iced” it’s when you find or see a Smirnoff Ice that’s been planted so you have to get on one knee and chug it.)
So, B group, myself included, since we are SUCH great sports, chugged our Ices.
Drink count at 3 PM: 7
Finally, aggressive drinking had ended. Casual drinking, however, continued.
We all sat down to play categories or whatever that game is call (sock ‘em bop it? no, that’s not it either... doesn’t matter). A couple of people, myself included, continued drinking. I made this decision consciously (albeit drunkenly)because I was looking around at B Group and thinking “there’s no way B Group is going to make it to aerial yoga at this point so we may as well keep drinking and then A Group can go to yoga and we'll continue doing this.”
Then, around 3:45 PM, there was some discussion about canceling the class. I was thinking "I knew this was going to happen I'm so smart." But to my surprise, everyone started getting ready, and I was like, shit, we are actually going. Realizing we were still going to aerial yoga was a regrettable moment for me.
Drink count at beginning of class: 8
The Actual Class
We arrived in the class and I opted for the back row, because obviously. I end up I’m in the middle and am kind of bummed there were only two rows and about 12 aerial yoga things. I was hoping for more people in the class because this left an unfortunate amount of time for individual attention and I strongly prefer to be ignored during such activities.
Even as I stood there with the rope I was planning my exit should I need to run to the bathroom to throw up. The room was somewhat warm and I’ve been mixing beer and liquor all day. Also, I soon had to dangle upside down on this thing. Everything was terrifying when considered together.
There were two instructors and about four people there that were outside of our little group of tourists. Obviously, I was SURELY feeling the effects of the alcohol, so I knew I had to concentrate to not ruin the class for the other people or annoy the instructors. Also, it was a Monday so I doubted anyone would have actually suspected someone would be drunk.
On a normal day I can’t balance on one foot. Really, if we were going to talk about evening the playing field (like how people get "spreads" in golf), I should have had no drinks and A Group should have had four drinks per person. That might have evened up our performance. Instead I had 8 drinks and A Group had between four or fewer drinks. (I should mention, in addition to their advanced degrees A Group is also exceptionally athletic. For example my boyfriend played D1 sports as an undergrad and my friend's boyfriend does yoga every. single. day. I'm singling those two out but B and A Group aside, most of my friends are bounds ahead of me in terms of athleticism).
In the beginning, I was thinking the rope-y thing would be my friend because it would hold me up and help me balance.
One of the first things the class did is move with the rope thingy and stretch a bit and then the instructors showed us how to go to an upside-down position, hanging from our legs. I’m terrified at this point that I’m going to concuss myself. But still, I got into the upside down position just like everyone else.
"Aerial yoga, you are my bitch," I proudly thought.
But then, it felt so, so good, and because of the alcohol and because I was slightly terrified to dismount and fall on my neck, I was like “I’m going to stay upside down until the class is over.” Mind you, there were 40 minutes left of the class. Once instructed, everyone else came down from their positions, but I made no moves.
The class then switched positions to some standing arm stretches and still I stayed dangling. Every time the class was instructed to change, say from arm stretches to leg stretches, I just remained dangling. After each instruction I'd think “nah, I'm not going to do that one. Upside down is my life now.”
The head instructor came over, thinking something was wrong (she probably thought I passed out upside down), and I asked her “can I stay here?” She was confused and kind of ran away and said “I guessssoo?” Then, the other instructor came over separately and whispered kind of desperately “what are you doing - we’ve moved on” and I told her “the boss one said I can stay like this forever.” She her face conveyed just basic horror and she just walked away.
It was decided: Upside down I would stay.
On the Mat
Eventually something happened. I’m not sure if the blood in my head reached a critical mass or if my stomach turned because of the alcohol mixing, but a few minutes later, I was like, I need to get right-side up IMMEDIATELY.
I clumsily crumbled to the ground, somehow without hurting myself. Within seconds of being upright, I got SUPER dizzy. The level of dizzy where you hear your blood moving out of your brain to your legs with audible alarms sounds in your ears "rrrRRRRRR."
I remembered my escape plan thinking I may need to make a break for the bathroom at any moment.
Still focusing on my primary objective for the class, not throwing up, I made another decision for myself to not do what the class was doing because I needed to be very careful not to throw up after the poor dangling decision. In my commitment to not vomiting, the next decision was, “remain horizontal on the floor mat forever.”
At this point, the class was standing, stretching their right legs forward by placing them in their loops, grabbing the loops, and leaning toward them. This way they were getting a deep stretch in their back thighs.
I, however, remained lying flat on my back and just hooked my right ankle through the loop from that position, not stretching anything whatsoever. My internal dialog was very complimentary to my own unique style that I could do yoga like this. I was referring to myself in the third person as the “Innovation Station.”
No one else was having any difficulty with the moves (and I wasn't either because I remained on the mat).
Most of the class went on like this with me basically lying down and putting the instructed limb through the loop and not doing much else. There was not one part of the class where anybody was actually supposed to lay down on the mat.
The class did another round of the upside-downs. I sat that one out as well because I’d had enough of that forever.
Toward the very end of the class, I did finally stand back up to participate in an actual sense. I was feeling much better and the innovation station's mat-based yoga didn't seem as cool anymore for some reason. The first thing that happened was that I couldn’t get my leg as high as the loop. All I had to do was stick my ankle in the loop from a standing position, but I kept missing the loop. (I told you I’m unathletic and unbalanced.) The instructor (nicest person ever) had to come over and help me get my foot through the loop. Even with her help it still took like three tries. I really want to emphasize here that this was not an advanced move.
Finally, FINALLY after an eternity, the class came toward the end. We got completely in the loops, which stretched out to be like long cocoons, and I was so hot and miserable I thought I was going to be sick. Still, it was relaxing and I almost fell asleep. It was simultaneously wonderful and awful.
I Made It
The class concluded and someone asked the instructions for a picture. Everyone was supposed to jump up in their loop for this picture (which I did!) Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay in the loop very long and rolled onto the floor within seconds.
This was not my finest hour.
Would I Do It Again
So...I didn’t pull off drunk aerial yoga.
And while I can’t attribute that fact 100 percent to alcohol (there’s also the issue of my marshmallow body as well as a general lack of balance and athleticism), I’m certain it didn’t help.
Aerial yoga: I might do again, but honestly, it was nothing that special. Would I do it again drunk, you ask? No. Being drunk and hanging upside down is more unpleasant than I realized. But, actually, I would probably do it for $50.
Hot Mess Tip
Don’t go drunk to aerial yoga. But if you do, please leave a comment and tell me how it goes.