With speculation swirling about which industries will weather the recession, and which will give way to a new economic order—there’s one that has a pair of writers at Vancouver Review mighty curious: the “yoga industrial complex,” worth an estimated $225 billion.
“In many ways, Western yoga can be seen as a subset of New Age culture, which is another way of saying ‘Don’t forget your wallet,’ ” Lalo Espejo and Patrick Pennefather write. “It’s no wonder that marketers covet the monied yoga demographic . . . which is unfortunate, because in India, yogis historically shared their knowledge free of charge. In our time and place, this spirit of humility has shifted from ‘free’ to ‘franchise,’ and ‘let’s follow that litigious asshole, Birkram Choudhury.’ ”
The popularity of teacher training has transformed the practice into “a kind of yoga Ponzi scheme,” the duo observes in their relentless roast. But this is no heartless skewering. For “insta-gurus now feeling the blunt agnostic edge of a tanking economy,” Pennefather offers up some of his Patented Yoga Poses for the Newly Poor. The article isn't yet available online, so here’s a sample:
Down ’n’ out Dog™: Mainly a facial exercise, let the eyes and mouth droop, then pull everything tight. Repeat. Works the face in a way not previously possible with botoxed cheeks.
The Potato Bug™: Can be practiced in a small space, with or without a mat. Find your secret place, lie on your side, and curl up into a little ball. Most effective under a desk or table.
The Ostrich™: Similar to Downward Dog, just stick you head in the sand. To be practiced upon hearing rumors of job cuts. Helps achieve a peaceful state of denial while smoothing out neck wrinkles, and helps you look youthful when your spiritual ass is for sale.