Yoganonymous Embraces Something Called “Heli-Yoga” /// Somehow the Bar Gets Set Even Lower /// [Yoga Bleaching]

No offense, Yoganonymous, but are you, like, currently on a shit-ton of fad-drugs and highly caffeinated energy drinks? I mean, “Heli-Yoga?” Are you really shilling for this?

From the August 9th article “Heli-Yoga: What It Is & Why You Should Try It:”

“Heli-yoga proves that yoga isn’t just for relaxation and inner-peace, it can also be exciting enough to thrill even the most die-hard active junkies and adventure addicts. Even when the invigorating helicopter ride comes to a halt, the scenery provides a rush on its own, and there’s nothing like the fresh mountain air to remind you that this is no ordinary yoga experience.”

This looks way more uncomfortable than it should….

One thing I LOVE about Yoganonymous is that sometimes they write the exact same article we would have written, only their articles are almost always serious. It’s really quite astounding. Check it:

“Even in the quietest, most ambient yoga studios, there’s always a distraction; whether it’s the noise of traffic in the distance or a flickering light bulb, it’s practically impossible to experience complete liberation while trapped indoors.”

Like, we would’ve written the same thing, only we would’ve been making fun of something. How comical is that??? Come on, Yoganonymous, why isn’t there any humor in this? Here I was reading this *thing* thinking, Hahaha…. Ok, I get it. This is satire. Any minute now there’s gonna be a punchline and all that rage brewing inside my tiny reptilian brain is gonna be the fool in all this. Any minute now. I’m sure it’s coming soon….

And, then….

Nothing happened.

Apparently, this advertisement in the guise of an article is just another thin layer of the ever-far-reaching surface most yoga “lifestyle journalism” pieces seem to skate along.

Oh, this is also “couples yoga.” Nice two-for!

Anyway, just a quickie to show how ridiculous even one paragraph of this “article” is:

1. “Even in the quietest, most ambient yoga studios, there’s always a distraction; whether it’s the noise of traffic in the distance or a flickering light bulb, it’s practically impossible to experience complete liberation while trapped indoors.”

This is a most reductive and uninformed statement completely ignoring the nature of “distractions,” their use-value, and how running from such things is a prescription for a weak, self-serving, yoga practice. This sentence alone should preclude anyone from actually having to ever give a hampster’s nipple about anything Yoganonymous says about yoga.

2. “And we all know, workout DVDs just don’t cut it these days, especially when there are so many opportunities to experience open-air nirvana.”

First, jumping back-and-forth between the concept of “yoga” and the concept of “workout” is just awesome! Second, DVDs work for people who they work for. No sense in making people feel bad about it. Some people don’t have access to helicopters and real live teachers. You work with what you got.

3. “Many yoga activists enjoy taking class outdoors, as you’ve probably seen in parks around your neighborhood, but few have used yoga as an opportunity to travel to the top of a mountain.”

Well, seeing as yoga asana doesn’t really involve much hiking or kayaking, I suppose you’re right. I’ve never used yoga to climb a mountain. I usually just use a good pair of shoes and a cool-ass day pack. Unless, of course, you’re talking about karma yoga-ing up a mountain to bring some random sherpas some iPads (which would, ironically, be the end of sherpas). But, you and I both know no one really digs that kind of yoga. Too “open-eneded.” That is, unless you’re talking about karma yoga-ing the front desk at a yoga studio and it comes with some free yoga classes.

4. “While this extreme destination activity has been around for the past decade, it’s still a well-kept secret among yogis.”

Wait. I actually don’t know what this means…. Are you saying people who practice yoga are unaware of helicopters and mountains? Is that true? Or, are you suggesting that people who practice yoga have been ignoring the fact that they could rent a helicopter to take them to the top of the mountain to do yoga? Is that what you’re saying? Maybe said yoga practitioners didn’t think of renting a helicopter to take them to the top of a mountain to do yoga, because it’s totally retarded lame!

I can’t even tell what’s real and what’s not in this photo.

Ugh. This is hurting my brain! Will someone please tell me this is all a joke? Can I please ignore this and go back to web-searching some seriously transgressional porn? I mean, this is just some helicopter tour company yoga bleaching the undies off a spiritual tradition to sell more helicopter rides, right?


yoga bleaching: 1. a form of marketing in which yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle is used to make an otherwise unrelated product appear to be in line with yogic principles. 2. the act of using yoga or an image of yogic lifestyle to sell an unrelated product. 3. a form of spin or marketing intended to deceive consumers into believing that a product is related to yogic practice or theory when in fact it is not.


  1. Anna

    It’s “only” $429 (plus 5% GST and fuel surcharge) for 2*8 min helicopter ride and 3 hours hike and yoga per person. I don’t know about the US, but in Europe you could get limitless yoga-classes for 3 months or more at some high-end studio. But then, 3 hours of distractionless yoga is far more worth than 3 months of yoga at the studio, where there is always distraction.
    Babarazzi, thanks for writing this blog, your posts make me smile 🙂

  2. Yoga Dude

    If you can find a good SCUBA yoga program….I’m in!

  3. theplayfulteacher

    Haha, this is so ridiculous.

    I would also like to point out that the use of the word “retarded” to describe something seen as stupid or ridiculous is demeaning to those with intellectual disabilities. It is common language, but no less hurtful as it basically implies this idea is so dumb, only a person with a disability would do it. It’s super unkind and unnecessary.

    In this case, most of the people with disabilities I know, in this case, don’t have anywhere near enough privilege to waste money on something this silly.

    • Thanks, theplayfulteacher. You know, we batted around using that word for a little while. Originally we used the word “idiotic,” but realized, these days there’s no real difference between it and “retarded.” Basically, this is where we stand: No one uses the word “retarded” to seriously refer to developmentally disabled persons. The same way we don’t employ the word “idiot” to refer to “slow” people. They’re old words whose references have changed. The same goes for “dumb,” “dufus,” “dolt,” “dullard,” or “imbecile.”

      Now were we to write the sentence as “because it’s totally only for mentally disabled people,” that would have been wrong and horrible.

      • Stuart

        I can’t agree with you on this one and was quite surprised to see you reference it so casually. My experience of your writing is that you are way too smart to truly believe that “no one uses the word ‘retarded’ to seriously refer to developmentally disabled persons.” You must know that this is untrue. It happens everyday. The excuse that they are “old words whose reference have changed” is lazy and incorrect. This word, like many meant to disempower, is often used to humiliate and bully young people and continues to perpetuates a stigma towards the many people who face unimaginable challenges as a result of their disabilities. As a parent to a physically and mentally disabled adult, I hear the word used often, both “innocently” and deliberately and know from experience the impact it has. It is insulting, hurtful and oppressive. Using it so nonchalantly and defending its use makes you seem very uniformed and unconscious, which I don’t believe you are. You always struck me as someone who defends the “underdog” and I was surprised at both the use of the word and, even more so, your defense in using it.

        • Hmmm…. This is making me reconsider…. Tell you what…. I’m going to shelve its usage until we look into this further. Perhaps we misstepped on this one, and I want us to look into it more. Thanks for your thoughtful response, and giving us a “check yrself” moment that we will continue to consider. We’ll use a “strike through” so as not to sweep the discussion/usage under the rug.

          One point of note: When I referred to “use seriously” in my response, I was referring to the DSM IV, and not jerk-off bullies in school. Though obviously “serious,” I was referring to the other serious. “Doctor serious.”

          Again, thank you.

        • theplayfulteacher

          Thanks for your add-in! I teach children with disabilities and too have experienced that it still has a significant impact — and is still often used quite deliberately, as well as sometimes unintentionally, all around us. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the colloquialism that “idiotic” may be, and is still tied to individuals with disabilities, especially when many in the medical field have yet to switch terminology themselves. Have you seen the “Spread the word to end the word” campaign? I’m planning to do something like this in my school this year.

          And thanks to Babarazzi for re-considering the use and taking time to think about its effects.

  4. itstrue

    Oh silly me, I didn’t know that riding a helicopter and doing a tree pose while looking at someone was going to help me eradicate my ego and give me strength to move towards my own death. Silly me!

  5. wondering

    plus a huge obscene waste of resources. I hope the pesky sunshine, bird calls and breeze aren’t too distracting for them.

  6. “Love is the astrolabe that sights into the mysteries of god” –Rumi

  7. Dyspeptic Skeptic

    Yoga on the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island would be better in all respects.

  8. Wow – new low is right. It’s as if the company promoters thought, “well, heli-skiing is really exclusive, expensive and makes customers feel like they are super bad-ass, so why wouldn’t heli-yoga-ing do the same thing? Brilliant!”
    Really, really dumb….seriously, why would I pay to be flown to the top of a mountain just to be blown around by the cold breeze while attempting to practice asana on the bumpy ground while standing next to a helicopter. So silly. And speaking as someone who has actually spent a fair amount of time in helicopters, they are really freakin’ loud (talk about distraction…) and dangerous to boot.
    Anyways, those photos are perfectly awesome because those “yogis” look so utterly amateur for being such “die-hard active junkies”. Love it.

  9. Linda-Sama

    when did just doing yoga in your own place not become good enough? and what’s the carbon footprint of getting flown to the top of mountain just to bust out a handstand? for people with more money than brains….

    • For real????
      Ok, so now we have heli-yoga, paddle boat yoga, surf yoga.
      When will ski yoga, snowboard yoga and toilet yoga happen?

    • I think Well+Good banned my comments off their site. They are pretty low … and NOT just about yoga–what they do to pilates, boot camp, crossfit, core fusion and barre is obscene …

      • Lisa

        Hi amphibi1yogini, I handle Well+Good’s comments. We don’t ever deny a reader’s comments unless they’re really offensive and inappropriate. Occasionally real comments get stuck in our spam filter, and while I try to pull them out, we miss some every now and then. If you ever post a comment, and it doesn’t appear soon after, feel free to email me at and I can look into it for you.

  10. charlottebellyoga

    Another example of “yoga and …”. Obviously yoga on its own is just not titillating enough.

  11. Thaddeus

    You know why helicopters fly, right? Because they are so ugly the Earth repels them. I hate helicopters. They are Godless death machines, although in this light, they may be perfect for yogis (minus, the Godless part).

  12. gross

    eeehhh. id maybe care if yoganonymous ever had had one shred of steet cred in the 1st place.

  13. gross

    meaning, if eddie stern suddenly were promoting this, it would be a great story. but those yoganon people were always the lowest hanging fruit. so just expected.

  14. ryan

    Perhaps they were hacked by ?

    • ryan

      Just went to the Yoganonymous website for the first time…and I’ll never go again. I am retracting my theory of being hacked. This is a pretty terrible troupe all by themselves.

  15. Yoga Whine

    This could be a spin-off from the Navy SEALS and their Warrior Yoga? We ferry all the elite killer units around in helicopters to support their “snatch and snuff’ assassination operations worldwide?

    Let’s remember: many commercial applications – all modern civil \aviation, in fact – began in the US military for war-fighting purposes. Why should yoga be any different? After all, “we are the world.”

    Look, this is Jennifer Cusano’s rag. She also works for Elephant Journal. The woman has no moral compass of any kind.. What did you expect?

    Last time we saw here, she was doing yoga kneepad pose for Elena Brower and GLBL? The owner of Whirley Turd Yoga Flying Machine, Inc. could be her lover for all we know?

    This is American Yoga. Spread ’em folks.

    • Yoga Whine

      I think we should helicopter a platoon of yoginis to some Third World battlefields and let them rappel down to the “hot” zones, made even hotter by their appearance on the scene in their Yoga Butt pants. Then they can asana their little fannies off to see if they can convince the warring parties to surrender?

      What a spiritual challenge!! Warriors for Peace….versus….Warriors for uh, Piece. Dayum, where’s your Shakti Goddess when you need her most?

      • I never get tired of leaving this answer:

        from the city that hosted Ground Zero

        It has actually helped me solidify my decision to leave commercialized yoga.

        Incidentally, Lisa, your sister site (though I am not sure if it is), Blisstree, has never banned my comments. Your site, for me is going 1 for 5 …

        • gross

          wow, those backbends from the lulu-girls in the park are going to give them some serious injuries. but thats fine, b/c then if they stick to yoga, they will have to search a little deeper.

    • jen

      Well that explains it since Elephant posts such trite stuff. The owner is really a talentless hack whose only skill is to get others to write for him. His kiss up to John Friend was disgusting.:-)

  16. Because you totally can’t hike into Mount Cline, and do yoga in the wilds of Alberta without spending $500. As a local backcountry enthusiast, I can tell you that these heli-tour operations are pretty pathetic in that they operate on the fringes of the national parks, where one actually needs to sweat a bit to get to the real peaks of teh Canadian Rockies.

  17. Yoga Whine

    By the way, this gives entirely new meaning to the phenomenon known as “helicopter parenting.” According to experts, here’s what happens to kids who are “helicoptered” through life:

    “Students with helicopter parents tended to be less open to new ideas and actions, as well as more vulnerable, anxious and self-consciousness, among other factors, compared with their counterparts with more distant parents.

    “We have a person who is dependent, who is vulnerable, who is self-conscious, who is anxious, who is impulsive, not open to new actions or ideas; is that going to make a successful college student?” Montgomery said. “No not exactly, it’s really a horrible story at the end of the day.”


    ‘Helicopter’ Parents Have Neurotic Kids, Study Suggests
    Rachael Rettner, Live Science
    Date: 03 June 2010 Time: 01:13 AM ET

  18. Greenpoint

    well at least we can all take solace in the fact the nobody, and I mean nobody, would ever really do this…or should I say, PAY to do this…

  19. justbehonest

    my two cents

  20. Pingback: R.I.P. Humility: A Euglogy. | elephant journal

  21. Mamaste's posse

    I love it when the comments are as ignorant and the name of the person writing it. Yoga Whine, please go put your big girl (or boy) panties on and write about things you actually know about instead of trying to be cool putting someone else down. You comment makes heli-yoga look like a pilgrimage to India.

    • Yoga Whine

      Awwwww……..thanks for the shout out. Definitely struck a nerve. You can land your little whirley bird any day and get grounded again. We’ll be here!

    • Yoga Whine

      “Mamaste’s Posse.”? I love it. The Guru Fetish never dies – it just metastasizes. Wow.


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