I Can’t Help But Feel That “White Yoga” Sounds (And Kinda Looks) Like an Aryan Pride Festival

Now, I’m not saying White Yoga has anything to do with white-power, but I tell you what…. If I were a yogini blissed out on the whacked out ideals of the “Master Race,” I might take a cue from this marketing. I mean, think about it! If you’re a spiritually-minded stormfronter, what better than a celebration of whiteness. A good ol’ fashion whitey white-tastic whitefest of “purity” in honor of all things white.

But, check it. It’s gonna take a little more than a simple name to get your meat-head f@&#tard friends to show up. No way. In order to get all your Aryan Nation buddies to come you gotta first find the whitest Aryan-looking white girl living on Whitehead St. and put her glorious white back and noble blonde hair in the advertisement….

Then, you gotta call all the white stuff you do at the event a “White Yoga Session” and refer to it on your website as “The biggest feel-good event of the summer,” (although doesn’t GLBL YOGA have the rights to that?) ’cause everything bigger is obviously better, and everyone knows that white-power jerk-offs need a little R-n-R just like anyone else….

Then, in order to get the permit to hold the event in a public space you gotta try and wrangle a few not-so-white people to show up, ’cause yoga ain’t about hatin’ black people. It’s about celebrating white people….

I’m just saying…. In a commercial yoga culture so entirely dominated by white people, white voices, white visions, and white solutions to problems often caused by white people, you might want to run the whole “White Yoga” brand by the ol’ marketing team again.


NOTE: For more information on “racialist” takes on paganism and spirituality:

As an aside, there is a huge debate within pagan communities regarding the racialist take-over of some branches of the greater greener pagan plant. For a great take on the whole deal, check out the very wonderful The Wild Hunt.


  1. mji

    WTF!!! Why were the mats black? Ha!

  2. (snickering) Verrry light-skinned.
    But not prosperous.
    Hardly into Kundalini (which is what I guess this is)
    Not part of that tribe ….

  3. kc

    And of course Elena Brower, the insufferable windbag that she is, is the first talking head in the video, babbling on about “collecting light.” “Share the light of the city with each other and the world!” Oh brother…

  4. Greenpoint


    Is just because I’m a dude and tend to notice these things but are EB’s, ummm errrrr, headlights so to speak, a little too exposed, shall we say? Wonder what the instructions from the camera-person were…

    At least I didn’t take too much notice of what was coming out of her mouth…

  5. Yoga Dude

    I hope they will play the white album during this event.

  6. The P

    She felt like she did Mahatma Gandhi and his work and the concept of peace in the world real justice by teaching an oversized asana class outdoors to people dressed in all white. And this is what I find so offensive about these events .. the arrogant suggestion that size and spectacle translates into some kind of meaningful and effective change in the world. It does not, it is simple spectacle and perhaps a fun time with your friends and family if you like that kind of thing. It’s a one-off thing, it’s a music festival, a summer rock concert, movie in the park night, “hey, did you hear about that, wanna go, might be fun?”. The only thing they might be good for is promoting organizations or causes that people can get directly involved with on a real life day to day basis that push for tangible change in the world. They should have sign-up sheets for volunteer slots at soup kitchens, after school programs with kids in need, hey, even picking up trash in the park, something real. All this raising the energy for 90 minutes then going and home and back to what you were doing before is just bullshit.

    And, yeah, the white yoga thing .. best you can say is truth in advertising?

  7. Linda-Sama

    HA! these were my thoughts exactly when I first saw that ad in Yoga Journal! finally! truth in advertising when it comes to yoga! yoga is a WHITE THANG!!

    but seriously, I did a kundalini workshop with the American Queen of Kundalini, Gurmukh, years ago, and they wouldn’t let me in unless I wore a white bandana. which I had to buy.

    Me and the forced wearing of a uniform just don’t mix.

  8. 108

    h k h k k k h h h r h r r r h h

  9. I live in Montreal – This isn’t just a one-off thing either. The yoga community is very,very white and visible minorities stick out like sore thumbs. Not that I have anything against blondes or anything but by using a blonde in the poster, this somehow smacks of subliminal Aryan-Germanic race programming bullshit along with the other whitey-ness mentioned.
    The Olympic Stadium here is an old dinosaur which is literally falling apart, I guess they have to use it for something…

  10. Thaddeus

    It seems to me…and call me silly…that you should be able to “bring together as many people as possible” (a completely meaningless number since by default whoever and how many ever show up would presumably be this amorphous and ill-defined number) without tote bags and wrist bands.

    You all are invited to my living room tomorrow morning at 5 am to share the breath and light with the world.

  11. Itstrue

    Why is Elena Brower teaching in Paris? Why can’t they use one of their local Yoga teachers to teach these events. She really does have her finger in every pie! Also in what way did she do Gandhi justice???? Why does she have the arrogance to assume she did him justice by teaching a yoga class in Paris? And people eat this shit up!

  12. Yogically speaking

    This is not an incidental connection. A German historian, Mathia Tietke, published a terrific book, “Yoga in National Socialism,” in February of this year. It documents the Nazi’s dictatorship’s obsession with yoga as a way to uplift and “purify” the German race. Google it!

    The Nazis, much like today’s yogilebrities, had quickly caught on to yoga’s mass-mobilizing and ideological mind control potential. Heinrich Himmler, one of Hitler’s top aides, wanted to see the whole nation practicing yoga under the watchful eye and benign guidance of their national Guru – the Fuhrer. Himmler carried around a copy of the Bhagavad Gita wherever he went, including to the death camps, where he recommended yoga to the guards as a way to “de-stress.”

    Apparently, an SS captain and one of Himmler’s aides first turned him on to yoga, which was already pretty big in Berlin in the 1930s before the Nazis seized power. Tietke, in the book, quotes the SS captain as telling Himmler: ‘Yoga can internally arm us and prepare us for the forthcoming battles.’

    Wouldn’t you just love to see that quote on a GLBL poster? – YS

    P.S. I can’t get the image out of my mind of Peter Sellers, at the end of the movie Dr. Strangleove, leaping from his wheelchair — but this time declaring:. “Mein Fuhrer, I can do Pigeon Pose!”

    • Yogically speaking

      Would it be too unkind to point out that “Brower” is one of the oldest German surnames? Yeah, I thought so. Just checking.

      • Yogically Spewing

        No it would not be “too unkind”, rather too ignorant. To infer even tangentially, any manner of Nazi agenda to any yogilebrity is to make a mockery of Nazi atrocities. In Elena’s case, she happens to be Jewish, so it is downright offensive. Manduka is made in Germany, is there any connection there dummkopf?

        • Yogically speaking

          Well, as long we are playing this game. Elena Brower is a spokesperson for Adidas, which was founded by two German brothers, Adolf and Rudolf, both of whom were active members of the German Nazi Party under Hitler,

          I am also Jewish and most of my family on my father’s side was wiped out during the Holocaust. Should I be insulted that a Jewish woman has decided to flak for a company with such a pedigree?

        • Yogically speaking

          Thanks, I will have to look into this Manduka-Germany connection. After all, this is a company that thought it was a good idea to introduce a special line of super-sized “John Friend” signature yoga mats?

          Everyone knows that women have begun treating their yoga mats like fashion accessories. Those extra-large John Friend mats were simply too big and bulky to be carried around comfortably — much less jammed into one of those nifty condom-like “sleeves” with a strap that allow you to sling your rubberized lingam replica comfortably over your shoulders.

          Apparently, Manduka was thinking that its new, more “Friend”-ly mat would help the company win back customers from its chief rival. Jade? But it turns out that even with all the Anusara studios eagerly hawking the thing, just the opposite happened. It makes no sense: why introduce a product that in all likelihood, only 27% of the yoga market that’s ersatz male might even use?

          I admit, though, that John’s mat did have one interesting – if not so obvious – sales point. It was so big and soft that you could use it as a “casting couch.” In fact, if Anusara hadn’t tanked, eventually we might have seen an entirely new line of designer “Solar Flame” mats for each of John’s Tantric sex “proteges.”

          Imagine! John’s mat in the middle, and all the little Solar Flame mats circled around his just like the rays of the Sun. Each protege would jump onto John’s mat, do her business, then jump off again. Or they could all just jump onto John’s “Big Thingy” together. Wheeeee!!!

          Sadly, the days of being a “Good German” for John are gone. I guess that’s why we’re stuck with Elena. But a Flame without its Sun? It’s only half as fun.

    • Greenpoint

      that is just frickin’ fascinating…

  13. Conrad

    Yes I think EB might have had some of that wine. hiccip.

  14. Yoga Dude

    I watched that video and now feel like reciting Steve Martin’s non-conformist’s oath.

  15. Let’s just be thankful they brought in the Sports Experts to make it all run smoothly.

  16. gross

    wow, this is nasty. all those white tshirts, and that inane remark about doing justice to Gandhi? jesus what has it all come to? could anyone hear that and immediately realize she is not a person to collect intentions with. what a joker. what a poker face. i can’t imagine what she really thinks at home, alone with her thoughts. im sure she is more insecure than most. and who cares you learned a few phrases in french? any half-assed traveler to a foreign does the same thing. woo hoo, big bonus points. so what, you got an all expense paid trip, massive publicity, and probably paid out the wazoo to teach in Paris, France, and you took the amazing step of preparing a tiny bit of French phrases for it? you want a medal?

  17. Bobcat

    When I saw the ad in YJ I had to shake my head. Is this a joke? Is white superior than other colors? Why would they even want to go there. Can’t they see the message they are sending out? She said she did Mahatma Ghandi a real justice. Wow. All I saw were her breasts especially when she said I want to bring people together to share the breath ( breasts). I know it’s completely non-yogic of me but I can’t help it. I am a woman and I admire all women but this whole thing is like a white lily yoga perfume ad. I could smell her breasts!

  18. You guys were looking at her boobs? I was looking at her collarbones. 😛 I thought Anusara taught that the scapulae should be retracted all the time? But instead she’s collapsed forward with upper cross syndrome going on.

    Oh yah, vapid, yadda yadda yadda…

  19. Yogically speaking

    All this talk about Elena Brower’s “boobs” has me focused on the important topic of “low-hanging fruit.” In my spare time today, I consulted two friendly experts in psychology and business, and the consensus seems to be – try to stay away from such fruit.

    Karl F. Muller, principal of the Williamsburg, Virginia-based consulting firm Muller, DeBettignies & Co., has a background in manufacturing management and now specializes in gainsharing. “Low-hanging fruit is something visible that we can get our hands on right away,” he says. “But it’s often of bad quality and reflects unnecessary overtime and wasted materials.”

    Robert Knotts, a small farmer in Berryville, Virginia, opines:

    “In the case of fruit, if it is hanging low, it may be bruised or damaged by bugs or varmints. It is also less likely to be ripe. Experienced fruit pickers always start at the top of a tree, where the fruit is more ready to eat — because of greater exposure to the sun.”

    In this case, it may just be time to think outside the orchard.

    – YS

  20. Mark

    I Love My Self…Thats all we need…is for ME to Love My self…Love My Self Yoga…Honor My self with INTENTION…Reward My Self with the light of consumerable goods and money…I AM…I Love My Self…Its easy…just be like me…but don’t step on my fucking Mat! Namaste

  21. Lalala

    Lets fuck up the event and buy as many tickets as possible and not show up.


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