23.1.11

Yoga arrogance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/nyregion/23stretch.html
http://tarastiles.com/blog/

TARA Stiles does not talk about sacred Hindu texts, personal intentions or chakras. She does not ask her yoga classes to chant. Her language is plainly Main Street: chaturangas are push-ups, the “sacrum” the lower back. She dismisses the ubiquitous yoga teacher-training certificates as rubber stamps, preferring to observe job candidates in action.

In her classes, videos and how-to book, “Slim Calm Sexy,” Ms. Stiles, a 29-year-old former model with skyscraper limbs and a goofball sensibility, focuses on the physical and health aspects of yoga, not the spiritual or the philosophical. For traditionalists, this is heresy, reducing what they see as a way of life to just another gym class.
Nothing wrong with making some money out of selling a book and being what the prevailing beauty standards term "ideal." - Esp. not if you're bloody helping a ton of people on the way by teaching yoga at $10 a pop without bothering about the whole mysticism and philosophy stuff. Apparently this upsets people.

Chill.

Now, yoga might not be for everyone. Almost everyone, but not quite. It's not necessarily true that more stretching and more flexibility when you're already crazy flex will help you achieve that gold medal in the Olympic ...weightlifting. Or this or that sport.

But if you're so badly inflexible that you can't even touch the middle of your shins with your legs straight or just coming off a major injury or can barely do a handstand pushup after 3 years of trying - then yeah. That would be me.

Professional "power" athletes' mileage may vary. Girls who are already crazy flexible - this isn't an end in itself. Being healthy and having fun is. If yoga does that for you - great. It's not the Whole Grain Grail of Eastern Super Truth.

On a side note I wonder if Ms. Stiles can lift a heavy grocery bag. Oh well. She's probably healthier than 99% of the population, so no worries.

If she's getting people to make healthier decisions in their lives then she's A+ in my book. Couldn't care less what particular brand of health/fitness she's brandishing. Funny blog video too - "I got a REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT - but I can't tell you until you buy X more numbers of this DVD that I'm covering 3/4ths of the camera screen with!"

No worries, money talks. Good on her. Cult of personality (fitness). Beauty. The TV/video personality thing that we all sometimes secretly aspire to (...I do, anyway). All that.

Kinda like the whole P90X thing. Congratulations to them, as well. Basically same as CrossFit, just money and dvd's and different packaging and money money instead of open source community stuff. Not that there's not tons of money in CF, but a lot less for the people organizing for the last 15 years.

Oh yeah, the arrogance. That would be people saying "my fitness way or **** off." That's not her. That's the people saying her brand of yoga is heretical. Or the people saying Powerlifting is the only way to fitness. Or this or that. Maybe I shoulda been clearer on that.

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