This is a recurring series about all my devices. I’d like to clarify that it is NOT a tech column — it’s about spending money to speed up self-transformation, and then buying more stuff when that doesn’t work. And so I have acquired an endless array of devices: from products that promise to make my face look more triangular and the skin around my eyes less purple to ones that shrink specific parts of my salt-logged body. Do any of them work? Previously: the $799 Ass Air Conditioner.
In the old version of this world, I attended my fair share of $33 hot yoga classes, especially ones that espoused “Eastern” ideals from a Western corporate perspective. My yoga practice never really changed my body or ushered me into a deep meditative state, and I’m not really that hard of a worker, but I liked the end of each session. When I lay on my back in a bralette so heavy with moisture that it bound my boobs with its weight, my underwear bunching up around the knees of my too-tight athletic leggings, I finally felt quietude. Sometimes, if I was lucky, the mic’d up witch in charge of the class might come around and press her thumb up against my third eye center, and I would know I had been saved.
I can’t imagine returning to a heated room filled with all those agile bodies exhaling unknown quantities of aerosols and methane (where do they keep it all?) until the pandemic is over or the earth heats to 105 degrees on its own. But I do miss sweating and the sense of virtue that comes along with it. I don’t have the self-discipline to do what Adriene tells me, and I’m not risking maskne to attend an in-person yoga class. This is why I used my credentials as a journalist to procure a $499 HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket V3, which bills itself as “the original at-home infrared device, beloved by celebrities and health experts around the world,” inside of which you can get “addicted to your own alchemy.”
The bag makes use of “far infrared rays” which “may help deliver a deep detoxifying sweat and allow your body to push out those heavy metals and increase your heart rate for a healthy glow.” The “may” of it all is of course in there for legal protection, and while I enjoy sweating, I’m not sure I actually believe in toxins. But I do want to be beautiful, clear-skinned, and lithe.
I meant to do a little stretching while the burrito bag for girls heated up. I put it on its highest setting of 8 even though the directions told me to start at 1 or 2. I attempted a downward dog, but my arms hurt from 11 months of inactivity and contorting my body in that way scared my dog. This was going to be harder than I thought. I set up He’s All That on my computer on the floor next to me and Velcroed myself in.
It was very hot in there! I made it 12 minutes, or in terms of the He’s All That timeline, the part where Addison Rae’s “Padgett Sawyer” discovers she’s gone viral for developing a snot bubble while crying on camera.
Did I emerge from the bag beautiful, like “Cameron Kweller” after his makeover as the titular He in He’s All That? No. Did I exercise? Also no. But isn’t yoga simply living with intention anyway? Yes. Or at least that’s what my CorePower instructor Cassie used to say. If only she could see me now.