Houston Goths Need Exercise, Too. Goth Yoga Has the Hookup

A Goth Yoga booth at market.
A Goth Yoga booth at market. Photo by Christi Workman
Like a lot of people, I put on some weight over the last year because I couldn’t go outside and white cheddar popcorn is cheaper than therapy. Even as gyms open up, they were never places I really ever felt at home. Soccer moms, wannabe MMA bros, and outright conspiracy nuts dominate every gym I’ve ever been to. What’s an aging goth who just wants to fit into his leather pants and a vintage Alien Sex Fiend T-shirt again to do?

One answer is to look up Goth Yoga here in Houston.

The company, started in 2017, is run by Christi Workman, a 57-year-old alternative scene mainstay who used to be in Stinkerbell (“Who Blew Smoke?” is an essential H-town punk track). These days, she spends most of her time on physical fitness, either running her own studio or selling a fantastic line of branded workout gear that finally speaks to people who just want to do step aerobics to Siouxsie’s “Spellbound” as the dark gods intended. Her line includes leggings, baseball shirts, and a nice line of bras. Almost all black, naturally, and featuring her bat wing yoga pose logo.

Christi Workman, fit and goth as heck. - PHOTO BY JANETTE LEASE
Christi Workman, fit and goth as heck.
Photo by Janette Lease
“I’m a goth girl, and I just didn’t like he music they played at gyms,” she says. “None of my friends wanted to go to a gym either. When I started training, I was working with people here in the alternative scene.”

It’s been hard for Workman since COVID started since her biggest business has been hitting up horror markets with eye-catching wares. Now that vaccination rates are headed up (she got her first shot this week), she’s eager to be back selling. She’ll be one of the vendors at the first Thorn and Moon Magickal Market of 2021 on April 3 at Raven Tower, and she just returned from a horror even in Bastrop.

“It was great being out there with people. It’s such a sense of community,” she says. “I had two actors from Jason movies and a bunch of heavy metal dudes come over to the booth with their eyes bugged out. They hadn’t seen anything like goth workout gear before.”

click to enlarge An outdoor fitness class in Goth Yoga gear. - PHOTO BY CHRISTI WORKMAN
An outdoor fitness class in Goth Yoga gear.
Photo by Christi Workman
man was selling at the Nosferatu Festival in Austin last year when news of SXSW being cancelled hit.  People were devastated, and she lost bookings that had been set up through the end of the year. Mostly she’s been doing online sales of her products as well as individual and Zoom training sessions for clients. She films classes from her studio, which is tricked out in candles and other spooky paraphernalia.

True to her roots, she takes a lot of care in giving people workouts that use the darker side of music. She’s done yoga classes with classic horror movie soundtracks. One of her favorite training sessions involves a choreographed fitness routine set to “My Pet Werewolf” by The Immortalz, a song I am very embarrassed I missed last year when compiling my end of the year music video list.

“It was fun!” she says. “We did a whole bit about a werewolf standing on its hind legs, some planks, a little kick boxing. That’s the kind of stuff I want to hear working out.”

With the end of the world finally looking like it might end, maybe the time has come to get back out jogging in gear that properly reflects the dark times that we have survived. Goth Yoga is the spooky athletic apparel most goths I know have been waiting for since we realized dancing at Numbers wasn’t going to cut it as our only exercise anymore.
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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner