Whenever I watch this video of the 1988 Crystal Light Aerobic Championships, which is often, I keep wondering why it reminds me of the contemporary commercial yoga scene.
Take a look:
And then take a look again:
Now, here’s what I came up with:
Basically the two scenes are identical, with the exception of the way the practice is presented. So, while aerobics projects a much more “exuberant” facade, commercial yoga tends to project a more humble reserve only couched in exuberance. Also, there’s something surprisingly honest about the Aerobic Championships, whereas with commercial yoga culture there’s always this feeling of being lied to.
However, there are, of course, many similarities. Both embrace corporate sponsorship. Both emphasize a person’s health, flexibility, and body image. Both will ultimately be seen as uncomfortably dated and irrelevant, serving only as retro fodder for the youth of the next generation to ridicule or appropriate. Both would like to dominate the commercial health market. And, both assume that when they do, they will do so forever.
Fortunately, for those of us who sometimes feel bombarded by ad campaigns and branding, this has never been the case for any product.