Newsweek reports that yoga classes were reinstated in Russian prisons this week after being suspended due to a "religious scholar's" warning that it cold make prisoners gay.
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Theological professor Alexander Dvorkin wrote a document suggesting yoga could cause uncontrolled sexual arousal and homosexuality in detention centers, leading to riots, the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomlets reported. Senator Elena Mizulina, who is known for her conservative views, used the document to appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office to check the legality of the yoga classes, and asked for them to be suspended, according to the paper.
Onnit's $65 Solo Yoga Mat features a lifesize Han-in-Carbon for you to perform upward-facing Jabba on. (via Cnet)
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Yoga Joes are a clever series of little green plastic army men in rather impressive yoga poses. Namaste, sergeant. Advanced Yoga Joes are available for pre-order in the following poses:
• Advanced Side Plank
• King Pigeon - Mermaid Arm Variation
• Lotus Headstand - Spherical Helmet Variation (Yes he really balances.)
(via Laughing Squid)
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A kerfuffle about a Canadian university where yoga classes were cancelled after concerns about cultural appropriation were raised by the Centre for Students with Disabilities sparked Michelle Goldberg, author of a biography of yoga pioneer Indra Devi to discuss the complicated issue of cultural exports, cultural appropriation, and the history of yoga. Read the rest
Yoga Joes started life as a wonderful, weird Kickstarter to produce a set of nine "Green Army Men" in yoga poses; having raised over $100K in direct sales at $20/set ($10 for military personnel) Brogamats is now selling them in retail channels at a $28 premium, for all nine: "headstand, meditation pose, cobra pose, warrior one, warrior two, child's pose, tree pose, crow pose, and downward-facing dog." (via Canopy) Read the rest
Bikram Choudhury, the millionaire accused serial rapist who popularized hot yoga in America, sued other hot yoga studios in 2003, including "open source yoga" practicioners, asserting that he held a copyright over the sequence of poses conducted in his class. Read the rest
These cats do not care about your vanity asana video selfie. Not even a little. Read the rest
According to the Moscow Times, yoga studios in Putinland have been told to stop hosting classes, lest they spread the occult.
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One of the letters, seen by Kommersant and addressed from Nizhnevartovsk First Deputy Head Sergei Levkin to the head of social and youth policy Marianna Parfenova asks that she take all necessary measures to stop Hatha yoga lessons from taking place at the stadium.
The move is crucial "in order to prevent the spread of new religious cults and movements," reads the letter.
A second letter, sent to the heads of the departments for physical culture and education, refers to Hatha yoga as "inextricably linked to religious practices" and as having "an occult character," Kommersant reported Friday.
Manly mindfulness for mellow macho muscle men.
They're from the creator of "Brogamats," a line of yoga stuff for dudes, and intended to inspire veterans and people who like the military to try out a little yoga. Read the rest
They're $40 from Thinkgeek, perfect for doing Downward Facing Droid and Bot's Pose. Also Happy Android. 95% cotton/5% spandex, machine washable, sizes S-3XL. Read the rest
Bikram Choudhury, founder of Bikram Yoga and notorious copyright troll, was recently accused of rape and sexual harassment by former students and employees. more details have come to light about the accusations, including Choudhury alleged racism, disparaging remarks about overweight people, gay people, and a long list of other sorts of people (women with small breasts, people with tattoos, etc). He also hates the color green so much that it is alleged he removed the emergency exit signs from hotel ballrooms where he was teaching.
According to a woman who trained with the cultish guru in Los Angeles, Choudhury doesn't limit his repulsive behavior to his close circle; he waxed poetic on his dick, women's bodies, and matrimony ("Love your bitch wife every moment," he advised) by way of introduction.
Sydney Towne said she kept a list of Bikram's behavior when she trained with him full-time from April to June 2012 because "he dislikes so many types of people" that "a list seemed like the only way to keep track of it all." She loved Bikram Yoga, but hated the way Bikram himself "completely takes advantage of people and their desire for wellness."
"I think he preys on people and there's such a cult of personality around him that people don't question his clearly inappropriate behavior," she said. "I completely believe all accusations against him."
Bikram Yoga Founder Hates Sluts and Fatties, Loves Talking About Dicks
(Image: toe stand, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from yanivnord's photostream) Read the rest
The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art in Washington, DC is preparing the first large exhibition of yoga-related art. Titled "Yoga: The Art of Transformation," the show is really a look at the history of the practice that dates back as far as 500 BCE. According to Smithsonian, "the exhibition includes more than 100 temple sculptures, devotional icons, illustrated manuscripts, court paintings, photographs, books and films borrowed from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe and the United States." You can get a preview of the art over at Smithsonian Magazine or donate to support the exhibit at the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler Galleries. Above left, "Siddha Pratima Yantra" (Western India, dated 1333; Bronze, 21.9 x 13.1 x 8.9 cm.) "The negative space cut from a sheet of copper represents an advanced Jain practitioner (siddha) who has achieved disembodied enlightenment." Above right, "The Prince in Dange" (from The Magic Doe Woman, Mrigavati, attributed to Haribans, 1603-4, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 28.3 x 17 cm.) A Preview of the World's First Exhibition on Yoga in Art Read the rest
Lululemon Athletica has recalled 17% of the women's yoga pants in its stores because the latest batch were apparently too sheer. The quality control problem forced the company to cut its revenue forecast by $12-17 million and its stock price took it on the chin.
"The ingredients, weight and longevity qualities of the pants remain the same, but the coverage does not, resulting in a level of sheerness in some of our women's black Luon bottoms that falls short of our very high standards," the company stated. "We want you to Down Dog and Crow with confidence and we felt these pants didn't measure up."
"See-through pants problem causes Lululemon recall" (CNN, thanks Jess Hemerly!) Read the rest
I missed this great piece in the LA Weekly from a few weeks back about multi-millionaire yogi blowhard Bikram Choudhury. We've covered his antics before, but his copyrighty litigiousness just got interesting again.
Short version: Bikram is basically the Walter White of yoga. And I'm talking Breaking Bad Season 5 episode 6 Walter White. The "hot yoga" kingpin isn't in the yoga business or the money business, he's in the empire business, and he's suing his former apprentice and right-hand-dude Greg Gumucio for intellectual property infringement.
But now, the US Copyright office says it may have issued all protection related to yoga sequences in error, including the one Choudhury's suing over.
Random tech world connection: Choudhury was introduced to his now-nemesis by John McAfee, the software billionaire turned yoga teacher. Read the rest