Utthita Parsvakonasana and Parivritta Parsvakonasana
Elastigirl: "Well, it looks like Duke managed to haul all the G.I. Joe Sigma 6 operatives out of their weapons cases and into the shala today. Good work, Duke!" Duke: "Thanks, Elastigirl."
Elastigirl: "I also see you changed into your skintight underwater ops uniform."
Duke: "I don't do baggy."
Elastigirl: "I'm not complaining! So how'd you get this bunch of assassins to do yoga with you today?"
Duke: "I basically shamed them into it, Elastigirl. I said, You can defuse a ticking bomb in an unpiloted airplane nosediving toward Mt. Kilimanjaro at 700 m.p.h. but you're AFRAID of YOGA?" Of course, some of them were bound to complain . . .
Storm Shadow: "Aww c'mon, Duke, me and Kamakura finally got a date with Strawberry Shortcake and Mermaid Barbie. We were going to go sit by the window and slowly melt in the sun over the course of several weeks."
Kamakura: "I washed my loincloth and everything!"
Duke: "While others responded with the dedication and discipline I've come to rely on . . ."
Heavy Duty: "Fuckin' A."
Duke: "Excellent. Snake Eyes?"
Elastigirl: "Duke, you're the man. And so the soft aroma of burning doll hair will have to wait until the men have practiced these two intense side stretches, Utthita Parsvakonasana and Parivritta Parsvakonasana, together, as a team!"
G. I. Joes: "Sir! Yes, sir!"
G. I. Joes: "SIR! YES, SIR!"
Duke: "Goddamn right I do! Now stretch those right arms down and plant your right hand on the floor on the outside of your right foot! Then stretch your left arm up over your ear, toward the wall, with your palm facing down! Look up toward your extended palm! THAT'S AN ORDER!"
G. I. Joes: "SIR! YES, SIR!"
Kamakura: "Sir! I am attempting to do the pose, sir!"
Duke: "We are not putting on a goddamn Broadway show here, Kamakura. This is not A Chorus Line."
Kamakura: "Sir! I find I am able to lunge quite deeply but my torso lacks the articulation needed to fold over my bent knee, Sir!"
Duke: "Kamakura, the point of these two poses is to create a line of energy running from your grounded back foot all the way up through your spine and shooting out your fingertips. Like a spear, a warrior's spear, son! That's why your pretty little nancy ass is here, because you're a warrior! Or am I mistaken? Are you or are you not a warrior!"
Kamakura: "Sir! I am a warrior, sir!"
Duke: "Then, Mother of God, start acting like one. Look at Storm Shadow there in front of you, he's got a nice modification going with his elbow resting on his knee and his left arm stretching up. Try that."
Kamakura: "Sir! Om shanti, sir!"
Spirit Iron-Knife: "Om is the sound of the universe, from which all other sounds are formed. Shanti means 'peace'."
Heavy Duty: "How in hell do you know that?"
Spirit Iron-Knife: "I'm a mystical motherfucker."
Heavy Duty: "Daaamn."
Storm Shadow: "Who are you calling Ali Baba?"
Duke: "You, Mr. Puffy Pants."
Duke: "Well, then you all look like you want to be rubbing Aladdin's lamp for him until it squirts out a genie."
Kamakura: "Let it go, man. He's on a power trip."
Storm Shadow: "I swear, one of these days I'm going to shove my foot straight up his muladhara chakra."
G. I. Joes: "Spears of warrior energy, Sir!"
Duke: "Let me hear some breathing, warriors! Slow, steady ujayi breathing! Contract that glottis! I want it to sound like a goddamn Star Wars convention in here! I want to feel like Darth-fucking-Vader is about to crush my windpipe with the power of the goddamn Force!"
G. I. Joes: "Hhhhooooo HHHUUURRRRRRR hhhhhhooooo HHHHUUURRR."
Duke: "That's more like it! Damn, I like that sound."
Duke: "Now, back to center! We will now perform the counter-pose, Parivritta Parsvakonasana! You WILL bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, and you WILL twist your torso around until your LEFT hand is planted on the OUTSIDE of your RIGHT foot! Am I making myself clear, you lazy-ass bunch of pussywillows?"
Snake Eyes: "Mmph!"
Heavy Duty: "Aw, shit, he knows we can't do that."
Spirit Iron-Knife: "You must set your intention and work toward your goal while at the same time remembering aparigraha, non-grasping, non-attachment to results. You must mindfully aim at your target, but then you must let go of the desire to hit the target."
Heavy Duty: "You are one mystical son of a bitch. Did your mama teach you that?"
Spirit Iron-Knife: "No, I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in high school."
Kamakura: "I'm with you, man! Balls to the wall!"
Spirit Iron-Knife: "But it is natural. The first series of ashtanga yoga is completely within the body's normal range of motion. But in Western society we have allowed our bodies and our minds to stiffen through our dependence on the crutches of convenience. We subsist on the poisonous seed of conditioned existence."
Duke: "Bravo, soldier, I couldn't have said it better myself."
Spirit Iron-Knife: "Thank you. My father was the shaman of his tribe."
Heavy Duty: "I knew it!"
Duke: "Heavy Duty, I'm going to cut you a break. I can see you have a need to approach the poses verbally and intellectually so let's open up a copy of David Swenson's Practice Manual and see if we can shed some light."
Snake Eyes: "Mmmph!"
Duke: "See how that back foot is grounded? See the way the twist starts at the base of his spine and rotates his torso right around? He's got his gut tucked in tight and that top arm is long and straight and strong as the stem of a flower."
Heavy Duty: "Duke, you're a poet."
Duke: "I dabble."
Duke: "Now, here we see Mr. Swenson modifying Parivritta Parsvakonasana -- he's still getting a good twist but instead of getting that hand on the floor he's put both hands together in namaste position. Perfectly valid way to do the pose."
Spirit Iron-Knife: "Uh, Duke, I think we got a situation over here . . . "
Duke: "Sweet Shiva, soldier, how did this happen?"
Spirit Iron-Knife: "I think they held the pose too long."
Snake Eyes: "Mmmph."
Spirit Iron-Knife: "Obviously they felt there was. They had too much ego to go through a period of weakness and instability while their bodies opened up. They forced the pose and now they have paid for their grasping egos with their lives."
Heavy Duty: "Well, they were good soldiers. They didn't want to take on this mission. They did not do their parsvakonasanas wisely, but they did them without question." R.I.P. Storm Shadow and Kamakura: Heroes, or two pussies who couldn't hack ashtanga yoga? You decide.