Big Huff ‘n Puff About Rich People on Rooftops /// Really?

Last week we were inundated with emails wanting to know our opinion on the “fancy people do yoga on rooftops” article posted on Yoga Journal‘s “Yoga Buzz.” Truth be told, none of us could come up with an intelligent thing to say, which in a way is not such a shocker, but also may say more than anything else. I mean, exclusive rooftop yoga classes? My nipples are getting hard just thinking about it!

Photo by J.T. Liss Photography For Social Change

So, the whole thing is called Serene City Retreats and was started by actress/model/Project Runway winner Millana Snow, who, according to the article, is a “yoga enthusiast.”

Wait. An “enthusiast?” What is that exactly? Like, a really excited person? I know the word used to refer to a person who was all blissed out on God juice, but…. Now what does it mean? “Really interested?” “Happy?” “Gung ho?”

The article goes on to detail a bunch of utterly boring upcoming nonsense that will appeal to “enthusiasts” the city over, all of which you will need to be invited to in order to participate. Classes will be taught by a roving band of (presumably) beautiful people. The class mentioned in the article was taught by Laughing Lotus-certified instructor (no shocker there), Brigitte Bourdeau, who now teaches at Reebok-approved Tara Stiles’ Strala.

For realz.

The last time I paid attention to what some richie rich pants’ were doing on a rooftop I ended up falling asleep on a couch next to an anorexic model strung out on coke talking my ear off about her last trip to Goa. Which was a shame. If only she knew how to handle her drugs, perhaps her, her husband, and I coulda maybe had a WILD time that night. Instead, I ended up listening to a whoooooole lotta teeth grinding.

Goa: India for peeps who really don’t want to be in India.

Now that lovely couple probably just do yoga on invite-only rooftops, make babies and name them “Johan” and “Noah,” and talk about the difference between “wheat free” and “gluten free.”

God, I miss the old days….


  1. chai fan

    I know there are so many other things wrong with this but- Whoa, those are some poorly aligned Warrior Ones in the back row…Closest to the camera- all in lower back. Middle person spaghetti arms. Furthest away-hips all wrong. But I’m sure they’re all pretty!

  2. Not that it makes a difference but, given your usual modus operandi, I am surprised that the Babarazzi either didn’t notice or mention who the author if this YJ “Yoga Buzz” is.

    • Yeah. I suppose it didn’t really mean much. The tone of the YJ article seemed to reflect the tone of YD articles (curious about the oddness of yoga culture), so didn’t really think to mention it.

      That said, remind me what our modus operandi is again…

      • Also, I should point out that no one here really keeps up with yoga blogs, and in full disclosure wouldn’t have noticed the significance of the author unless someone pointed it out. In all seriousness.

        • For the record, the only reason I know of Babarazzi is YD. As regards your modus, I was simply referring to your penchant for observing and commenting upon the idiosyncrasies of yoga “culture.” Seemed like a “counter-culture” yoga blogger making a quest appearance on “the man’s” website was up your alley.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of YD and its creator and have no problem with her getting a gig. Full disclosure: the YJ blog editor has contacted me and I wrote something for her that she was not interested in. I even did my best to try and write something that I thought she could use but I just didn’t have a knack for what they were looking for.

          Out of curiosity, if you are not interested in reading yoga blogs then why do you have one?

        • For whatever it’s worth, since you mentioned that you don’t really read yoga blogs in a way that seemed to suggest some disdain for yoga blogs, perhaps I can offer you another side to the yoga blogosphere:

          • Oh, goodness. No disdain for yoga blogs. Just not our thing. Like we stated elsewhere (somewhere) we come at this from a media/commercialism perspective, and less a yoga one. Like we said (again, somewhere) were we circus performers, we’d be writing about that.

            We don’t read yoga blogs, because the culture *as a whole* isn’t really interesting to us. We just maintain the daily practice. It just so happens another thing we do is satirize and critique the Spectacle. Since yoga is our “thing,” we critique that aspect of it.

            Also, YD is fine by us. Don’t really know much about it. Again, just cause we don’t follow that sort of stuff.

            Will check out yr blog.

          • Read and liked the piece. You have a very warm way of writing. Felt good to read. Thanks for sharing.

        • Flannery Foster

          Someone at Babarazzi is reading Yogadork.

          The tone of the YJ article is different than the content of Yoga Dork, which, in my experience, with It’s All Yoga, Baby, provided a counterpoint to the YJ style coverage. Given that she uses her own name, and that this is “a small world,” (I don’t know Jennilyn personally, but we do have at least one friend in common, It’s All Yoga, Baby’s Roseanne Harvey) Jennilyn has less freedom to speak as freely as The Babarazzi does from the shadows of anonymity. In fact, I initially had my suspicions that The Babarazzi is a collective of these known bloggers masquerading so they can say what’s really on their minds. (Only half kidding. I love a conspiracy theory.) The Babarazzi’s role is important and I understand the reasons for the anonymity.

          That said, I would encourage Jennilyn to continue to forge ahead with Yoga Dork, rather than waste her time with press release-y pieces like this one. Or use a pen name. I suspect, though, that Yoga Journal would like to capitalize on Yoga Dork’s “street cred” and Yoga Dork may be capitalizing on Yoga Journal’s sheer ubiquitousness. To me, it sounds like a different voice. What good is a huge circulation if the piece doesn’t sound like YOU. Jennilyn’s writing for Yoga Dork is, on the whole, smart, well researched, irreverent and often challenges the commercial nature of the yoga media. The Yoga Journal piece was just, yeah, fluff. I have a sense that if it had been covered on Yoga Dork, the tone would have been decidedly different. But that’s purely inference.

          Keep up the good work, everyone. As I am writing as myself, please know that my comments are merely opinions. As my Grandma used to say, “Opinions are like *ssholes. Everyone’s got one.” I don’t think that I’m right, or better. I just think. I practice yoga to do that less. In fact, I’m going to go try not to think right now 😉

  3. The tone is not that similar to YD blog, it’s actually a bit nauseating. Sounds like Cosmo copy,

  4. Luluwarrior

    It’s infected Montreal too, only here it’s called Sky Yoga and it’s done in Old Montreal where the nouveau riche congregate.

  5. Glenn riis

    I think the “enthusiastic” reaction to the article is more a function of more inanity from YJ…it is really aggravating if one happens to notice…

  6. Pranama Red

    4 novices in class and this is deserving of an article?
    FYI, Laughing Lotus did rooftop yoga in the Village a decade or more ago.

  7. Somebody may videotape this session and in a few months we can get it online (for a small price). Yay, trickle-down theory, still alive and kicking …

  8. gross

    snore. i think in truth rich people are the MOST miserable. but yes, the alignment in the asana leave alot to be desired. was that the best pic? i did notice the author of the article name as familiar, and looked her up, to discover she is Yoga Dork. its sad b/c i always held the name DORK in high regard, as defining someone who is deeply interested in a subject. clearly Yoga Dork should change her name to Marketplace Dork.

  9. Yoga Dork - or Diva?

    My general concern is this: How do you “Raise the Roof” when you’re already “On the Roof”? This does seem to be a generic White person problem? O well, membership does have its privileges!

    And seriously, those are some of the LAMEST Warrior 1 poses ever recorded on film? I would rename them Manneken Pose? Or Spandex Ho Pose? Fire that teacher – or promote her, she’s obviously got a good con on.

    The YJ piece speaks for itself. Fluff — and poorly written, a bit of a surprise for the Dorkster, though it may be that her editor drained the soul-life out of it, and jenny just did the Corpse Pose.. Dorky Dork claims not to have been paid to write the piece – which raises the obvious question: You’re “tricking” in the Penthouse for free?

    When I’m shameless, I get my 30 pieces of silver – usually 60 – up front,. Maybe it’s not just yoga teachers that need JAMA, but yoga bloggers, too? Or perhaps just a little Grrrl Power pick-me-up from Amy Pimpalittle?

  10. Yoga Dork - or Diva?

    It’s hard not to appreciate Rooftop Yoga without the experience calling to mind that old Drifters’ song from the early 1960s:

    “Up On the Roof”

    “When this old world starts getting me down
    And people are just too much for me to face
    I climb way up to the top of the stairs
    And all my cares just drift, right into space.”

    All the roof is peaceful as can be
    And there the world below can’t bother me….

    Right smack dab in the middle of town
    I found a paradise that’s trouble proof
    And if this world starts getting you down
    There’s room enough for two
    Up on the Rooooooof
    Up on the Rooooooooooof
    Oh, come on baby!
    Oh come on Honey
    Up on the Roooof….

  11. Pricy yoga retreats have been a staple of the biz for awhile, this is just the latest incarnation.

  12. val flingers

    another classy expose putting the sophist back in sophistication; the sucking muffin dove dearly for this

  13. Flannery Foster

    By the way, you’re all invited to rooftop yoga at our place. Weekdays at 6 and weekends at 5. By Donation by new teachers.

  14. Flannery Foster

    Pardon, new teachers donation classes are M-F. Cynthia and Patricia’s classes are $15, but as always, we will accept a time for time exchange of services.

    Also, on Tuesdays we are offering a by donation meal cooked by Chef Moti. It will be simple, but it is free to anyone who likes. Any contributions will be allocated to next week’s meal’s groceries. If you have any veggies sitting around onTuesday morning, bring them by for the “stone soup.” Through the month of June until Moti leaves ;(

    If you’re charitably minded, we are also doing our quarterly goodmala:108 Sun Salutations to Benefit the Greenpoint Reformed Church’s Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. It’s easy to get sponsored by your friends. See here:

    Feel free not to post if this is too spammy. Not my intention. Just want to raise awareness and more money for a good, local charity that a lot of people rely on.

    Thanks, Babarazzi.

  15. Yoga Dork - or Diva?

    So, basically, this thread started on the roof with the bris and chablis set but ended up with the great unwashed in the basement soup kitchen. I suppose, given the current state of American yoga, there’s some justification in extolling the virtues of downward social mobility, but once the good cheer wears off, it feels like I’ve just tossed away a potentially lucrative escort career for some down and dirty street walking. Got change for a twenty?

  16. Cheese and Crackers

    “bris and chablis”. Bris or Brie? Brie usually involves cutting cheese, while a “bris” involves cutting something entirely different. Though you could definitely have brie while attending a bris.


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