Monday, April 02, 2007

achieve instant calm

This Slate article on the New Age conquest of Yoga is the funniest thing I've read in a LONG time. Be sure to read all the way through for the account of the v. flexible "yoga stalker." A favorite tidbit:

It all adds up to what a friend recently called the "hostile New Age takeover of yoga." "New Age" culture being those scented-candle shrines to self-worship, the love-oneself lit of The Secret, the "applied kinesiology"-type medical and metaphysical quackery used to support a vast array of alternative-this or alternative-that magical-thinking workshops and spa weekends. At its best, it's harmless mental self-massage. At its worst, it's the kind of thinking that blames cancer victims for their disease because they didn't "manifest" enough positive vibes.

One "manifestation" of this takeover is the shameless enlistment of yoga and elevated Eastern yogic philosophy for shamelessly material Western goals. Rather than an alternative, it's become an enabler. "Power yoga"! Yoga for success! Yoga for regime change! (Kidding.)

And then there's what you might call "Yoga for Supermarket Checkout Line Goals." Or as the cover story of Rodale's downmarket magazine YogaLife put it, yoga to: "BURN FAT FASTER!" (Subsidiary stories bannered on the YogaLife cover: "4 WAYS TO LOSE 5 POUNDS"; "ZEN SECRETS TO: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ... INSTANT CALM.")

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,

My name is Adam Barclay. I edit a magazine called Rice Today (you can see PDFs at www.irri.org/ricetoday), which is published quarterly by the International Rice Research Institute (www.irri.org; based in the Philippines). I saw your article "Indian state gets ready for an onslaught of rats" - a very interesting piece (and an issue that the IRRI rodent specialist is aware of).

Two questions:
1) Are you planning to follow this up with another article in the near future?

2) Would you be willing to let Rice Today run the story you just wrote, or an upcoming piece (or does The Globe and Mail have copyright?). IRRI is a nonprofit organization and we don;t have a budget to commission stories, so I can't offer any pay.

Don't hesitate to contact me you have any questions email address is "a dot barclay at cgiar dot org")

Cheers,
Adam Barclay

ankurindia said...

interesting

Toe Knee said...

And what about dog yoga?