Yoga: Upward Facing Goldfish

It’s time somebody called it, and it might as well be me. Yoga passed away this afternoon due to complications stemming from excessive corporate advertising misuse. Yoga was 1000 years old.

Seriously though, am I the only person that’s getting really sick of yoga being featured in every advertisement? It’s in car commercials. It’s in advertisements for new construction condos. It’s even in food ads. As consumers, we’re supposed to believe something is good and/or healthy because we see picture or a two-second clip of somebody stretching a calf muscle with a fresh-from-the-bong look on their face.

I hate to say it, but yoga is now a cliche. And it’s becoming an annoying cliche. And that’s a shame. As an actual activity, instead of stock footage, it’s probably really good for you. Especially for rehabilitating injuries and maintaining mobility in your later years. I’ve even done a bit of yoga, and the endorphins I got from it were similar to runner’s high. (*Sigh* I miss runners high, it sure beats the heck out of the cigar spins.)

Of course, I’m not one to talk up a good line without making with the goods. Here, for your viewing (dis)pleasure are a few examples of yoga misuse in corporate marketing I was able to track down today. (Product names removed for your safety. And the legal safety of my blog.)

Yoga and Supplements

That’s right, if you pop our pills, you’ll always have sand on your butt. And if sand in your crack isn’t inner peace, I don’t know what is.

Yoga Elf

A leprechaun in lederhosen doing yoga?! I’ll buy a case of whatever is in that blue bottle!

Underwater People Weaving

And now, the college class you knew was on the horizon, underwater people weaving. A full three credits of soggy people pretzel-ing.

My final bit of evidence of Yoga’s sad passing is an article from a year ago in the online edition of Fast Company magazine. Clearly Yoga’s final descent began when it started hitting the big macs. Though fat and cholesterol weren’t ultimately the cause of death, I speculate that they slowed it down to the point where it could be devoured by schools of corporate marketers.

So can we all please quietly mourn Yoga’s passing with some postures? Assume the upward-facing-goldfish pose. Now the scooping-with-net pose. Good. And now the depressing-flush-lever pose… hold it… And depress. Very good. Nut-mustache.

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  1. Sarakastic said,

    May 10, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    I have to say, I’m not really sorry to see yoga go, in fact I’ve always wanted a t-shirt that says “Yoga Kills”, which is a gilmore girls reference, but works even if you aren’t a Gilmore Girls fanatic.

  2. Brian said,

    May 11, 2007 at 9:19 am

    Yeah, Yoga was getting to be like that drunk friend or relative everybody has, the one that calls you up at 3 in the morning because he or she wrapped his car around a pole and calls you again that week from jail for punching a cop during a coke bender. Yoga was sick. Now that Yoga’s gone, we can all begin the healing process. šŸ˜‰

    I never watched the show, but I like the t-shirt idea. It gives me an idea… I can sell t-shirt prints through my photography website, perhaps I could whip up a little something… If you’d really like one! šŸ™‚

  3. yogaBlogger said,

    May 30, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Yoga deathmatch, wine tasting?

    There’s not enough irreverence in yoga. That, and not enough post-savasana wine drinking.

    And not to mention, not nearly enough friday-night-yoga-death-match spectacles. But i digress.

    The point is, yoga in America in the 21st century, despite the 16 million of us sweatily, vinyasaning away, has not yet found it’s voice.

    We get caught up in the fact that it feels so good. Not just the endorphin high that you get from say, running. Yeah, of course there is the simple chemistry of the opiate-like endorphin high in play here, to which, any animal would return. But whether you intend or not, provided you are breathing, moving, stretching and contracting, however clumsily, there is this progression though the physical, mental, and yes emotional and spiritual. Yes, my inner tough-guy cringes as I type the words. But all of that feels good. Feels right. Feels (cringe) pure (despite the fact that a “yoga practice” mirrors many of the same elements and definitions of addiction).

    – Sure it’s PHYSICAL and delivers all of the same benefits — but this is not a fitness workout. It’s also not a competition nor a spectator sport, yet we’d be lying if we pretended we, at times, were not competing with – or gawking at – others on the surrounding mats. You can look at my kurmasana if I can look at yours. How’d my butt look in my utthita hasta padangusthasana? ’bout my pantylines? My eagle can poop on your crow.

    – Yes MENTAL – even EMOTIONAL – benefits can quickly evolve from your practice, but this is not psychoanalysis or some new age group therapy session. Nor some macrobiotic, vegan, granola-munching health-food store be-in/love-in. And if prosac calms your inner-turmoil sufficiently enough to allow your spine to torque in the necessary cartoon-esque fashion to finally access your marichasana D – no judgements against you, your doctor, or pharmacist, and namaste to Pfizer.

    And if you pretend you don’t need at least a viente starbucks to overcome your hangover, clear the fog from your drishti, and get through your Sunday morning suryna namaskara A’s and B’s (5 and 3, lush!), I wouldn’t believe you anyway. Nor would i understand why — come on, that stuff is manna from heaven….nectar of the gods. i digress again.

    – The SPIRITUAL? In the age where all religions (the big-three, anyway) have equally embraced and/or been hijacked by radical extremism and/or mega-church consumerism, demand for non-denomination spirituality should be soaring. But what does this word even mean? It was so used and abused by the hippy-set through the 60’s and 70’s as to become completely banal and convoluted. How do we recognize that there is something beyond ourselves that perhaps we eventual get granted access to, while avoiding falling prey to the manipulation of human nature to organize and profit from it? One thing is clear: yoga is not religion. What spirituality even is in the 21st century, is about as clear as mud. Although it does seem clear a glass of good wine immediately following savasana likely comes somewhat close.

    So much to consider. So much to contemplate. So much dichotomy.

    I’m going to go have a glass of good cabernet and finish planning the summer yoga-death-match series.

    Look for it at a fitness supercenter or mega-studio near you.

  4. Brian said,

    May 30, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    All I can say yogaBlogger, is wow! Now give me a minute to collect the grey matter from the wall and floor behind my desk… ‘cuz your guest-post-in-a-comment blew my mind. šŸ™‚

    There’s too much to cover in a simple comment, but I have to say that Yoga Death Matches will be an instant landslide hit. I can hardly wait to see it on pay per view. In the mean time, I’ll stretch my pint-holding arm and ponder the many tangents you introduce…

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