PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 111: PopStuff's Downward Dog

by | Oct 15, 2012 06:24 PM ET

This podcast on yoga is brought to you by two people who don't practice yoga, because we haven't liked it when we tried it. Go figure. Fortunately, we're not talking about how to do yoga or why you should do yoga. We're talking about the weirdly mostly homogenized thing that has become “yoga” in the United States, and how it got here.

  • My problem: inflexibility + competiveness. Holly's problem: busy brain.
  • “Yoga” – in America, it's a fitness class (mostly). In its origins: much broader, with philosophy/religion.
  • What it takes to become a yoga teacher in the U.S. (not much)
  • Between 2004 and 2008 – fewer people  doing yoga, but they spend way more money on it, according to Yoga Journal
  • Some yoga demographics: no big surprises there
  • Styles of yoga
  • Yoga stereotypes in TV and film – the vaguely crunchy hippies, and the angry people trying to be less angry
  • When yoga came to America – way before the ‘60s
  • Transcendentalism
  • So much drama in the world of Yoga
  • Pierre Barnard and the scandalous beginnings of hatha yoga in the United States
  • Some reasons behind all these sex scandals
  • Some more modern scandals, such as John Friend and the Anusara scandal
  • John Friend's first and second letters
  • Things that used to get raided a bunch: yoga centers
  • The ‘60s: yoga + LSD
  • In the ‘70s: Time said yoga had gone mainstream! In the ‘90s, U.S. News and World Report also said yoga had gone mainstream.
  • Parallels between massage therapy and yoga, in terms of the intimacy and the potential for Feelings to happen
  • Yoga and health: It depends. But generally good with things like stress relief, flexibility and pain relief. And if you do it wrong, you can really get hurt.
  • The NYT article on yoga as a bad thing, and the Daily Beast's response
  • Wii: Yoga is not Fruit Ninja.
  • Listener mail! From Diana, who writes about our bra episode
  • How Yoga Works
  • Episode link: PopStuff's Downward Dog

My research:

Holly's research:

You can follow PopStuff on Twitter at @PopStuffHSW, and you can keep up with us on the official PopStuff Facebook page.

More To Explore