September 09, 2005

Not-So-Hot Yoga, Part the Second

Not-So-Hot Yoga, Part the Second

In yesterday’s humble “post,” we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” discussed a few of our collective thoughts on the subject of Bikram yoga. To be more specific, we began our description of a yoga class, which one of our senior editors—let’s just call him “Chip”—attended.

We left off last time with “Chip” just beginning to start his yoga class in a room so hot that he started to turn golden brown. By the time the session ended, in fact, he was what those in the restaurant business call “medium rare.”

Class began with the instructor turning on the lights in the room and leading the warm-up exercises. As we mentioned in our last “post,” said instructor was a markedly more effeminate and markedly less British version of Elton John.

As this beacon of heterosexuality began the class, “Chip” nervously eyed his fellow yoga participants. Whereas most of the assembled cast was of the feminine persuasion, a few of those present were women. (If you get our drift.)

Throughout the session, our intrepid instructor calmed us with manifold references to Mr. Bikram Choudhury, the Indian guru who invented Bikram yoga. He informed us of sundry clever sayings attributed to this learned fellow, and told us a number of tips that originally came from the master’s mouth.

All of this made “Chip” think: This Bikram character probably drinks his own urine, for crying out loud. Let’s not get too enthralled by this chucklehead’s words of wisdom.

Naturally, dear reader, you are dying to know how “Chip” fared in his first attempt at Bikram yoga. We’d like to say that he did a wonderful job. But we’d be lying.

It appears as if “Chip” isn’t suitably flexible to touch his hands to his waist. Accordingly, he wasn’t exactly the world’s most precocious yoga novice.

In fact, the whole session was a bit disturbing for our editor. Whilst grossly obese women blithely followed all of the exercises with perfect form, “Chip” was feverishly attempting to bend his knees properly. Apparently, “Chip” isn’t in the kind of shape one associates with a morbidly fat sexagenarian female. Who would have thunk it?

As if the class weren’t bad enough, the brochures the Bikram staff threw at “Chip” were simply enraging. These little propaganda leaflets made it appear as if yoga was the answer to any human being’s prayers. Got AIDS? Try yoga. Got cancer? Yoga will fix you all up.

In addition, it was as clear as day that the Bikram staff would do darn near anything to ensure that you continued to spend your hard-earned money at its establishment. Regardless of the negative effects of your yoga experience, the cure for your woes was ineluctably more yoga. Feeling horribly sore and dizzy? Why, just do more yoga. Has your leg gone gangrene? Yoga’s the panacea. It was simply shameless.

At least, “Chip” thought as he departed from class, the naked hucksterism of the Bikramites demonstrated that the East has certainly learned a few things from the West. It may be dressed up with Enya songs and pseudo-spiritualistic garbage, but it’s still a manifestation of what our French pals call Anglo-Saxon capitalism.

Posted at September 9, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack