Breaking news in the yoga world

Big press and little press Fast becoming the muckraker of yoga, William Broad has written another controversial New York Times article: “Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here” (February 27, 2012) posits that it’s no surprise that yoga produces “so many philanderers”—and that “scientific” research shows heightened sexual response from hatha yoga. (See responses from it’s all yoga, baby, YogaDork, and Leslie Kaminoff.) The same day that article was published, I read a few back issues of the Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria newsletter that I’d recently acquired. A slim, homemade-looking pamphlet back then, the newsletter impressed me with timeless content, including exclusive interviews with … Continue reading Breaking news in the yoga world

Flowers need not be flowery

Wow. Despite the ostensible demise of traditional journalism, the Times (which in the USA can mean only The New York Times) still has clout. One day, John Friend and Anusara yoga are merrily trotting along. The next day, boom! Everyone has an opinion about him, about the growing commercialism of yoga, about worldwide mega tours, about modern yoga’s authenticity, about “feel-good” words and effective teaching. When I wrote that I dislike “flowery” language, I essentially meant that I hate phoniness and showiness. An authentic teacher (a “deep person,” I might’ve said back in college) need not state the obvious. She … Continue reading Flowers need not be flowery

Why Anusara?

In yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, Mimi Swartz wrote a lengthy profile on John Friend, the Houston-based founder of Anusara yoga. I’d been curious about this new (13 years old) form of yoga, based on Iyengar yoga but with a “touchy-feely” overlay. The article made me cringe, I must admit. It wasn’t only Mr Friend’s commercial ambition, groupee following, and globetrotting to promote his brand. It was also simply his words: “We are,” Friend said, beaming, “the Yoga of Yes.” (YogaSpy: Uh, okay.) “There’s no differentiation between yoga philosophy and business philosophy,” he said of Anusara. “We honor spirit, based on … Continue reading Why Anusara?