Archive for June, 2011

Protest or Party? Yoga as Political Theater or Giant Concert, your choice

According to the New York Times today, agitators in India are using hunger strikes—and yoga—to protest corruption in their government. While some people, such as Mr Anna Hazare, of the DMK political party are fasting to affect change, others such as  yoga guru Swami Ramdev, are planning mass yoga sessions.

Swami Ramdev, a yoga guru with political aspirations and hundreds of thousands of followers, has created another front of protest. Tents have been prepared at a campsite in New Delhi for a mass yoga session on Saturday followed by a hunger strike. Mr. Sibal and other top ministers met Swami Ramdev at New Delhi’s airport on Wednesday and spent nearly two hours trying in vain to persuade him not to protest. –NYTimes

photo c/o New York Times/ B.Mathur/Reuters

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, where we have not a thing to protest, and only joy in our hearts, yogis and music lovers are preparing for the second attempt at a ginormous public yoga class in the city. As you might remember—maybe you were there—last year’s Flavorpill event was rained out. This year, the Wanderlust team has taken over, and will be offering instruction by Anusara’s golden child, Elena Brower, Breakti’s creator Anya Porter, and Kula Yoga/Wanderlust director, Schuyler Grant at Pier 63 near 24th Street and the Westside Highway on June 7th. Music will be provided by New York’s favorite in-class musician, Garth Stevenson, and Earthrise Soundsystem.

Wanderlust at the Standard in Miami, 2011

From political theater to giant concert, appropriate use of yoga has once again proven to be hard to establish. But a lot of people do seem to think it’s more fun when attached to another agenda, and when practiced with a lot of other people. Maybe.