“Yoga Business” as “Revolutionary” /// Supreme Kill Joy?

Once in a while you stumble upon some yoga-related business “thing” that makes your hair stand on end with excitement. This is one of those moments, and, to put it in perspective, we haven’t been this giddy over a yoga video since the delightful Travis Eliot crossed our radar!

Introducing “Marketing Alchemist,” Chris King’s “Yoga Business Revolution.”


I hope you’ve got your jock trap on, ’cause you’re about to have your balls kicked in by some of the most strung out “conscious capitalism” since Elephant Journal‘s Waylon Lewis told his first unsuspecting victim he was a Buddhist.

In all seriousness, there’s actually too much to write about here. It feels like every sentence out of Chris King’s mouth has some piece of beautiful fuck-tard douche nozzle marketing advice…. I’m just totally overwhelmed. This stuff is almost too good! I mean, within the first twenty seconds homeboy has already tried to tie together the act of selfless “service” with personal “abundance,” which, of course, you “deserve.” Oh. Did you know that? Did you know you “deserve” to be abundant? You deserrrrrrrrrrrve it. Why? Because “you help so many people,” and therefore “you deserve to have everything you need, everything you WANT, in this life.”


I honestly never expected to see “service,” that stand-in for karma yoga, to act like such a commodity in such a desperate way. Really, how did “service” become some sort of coked up yuppie mind-fuck covered in crack house needles?


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I feel like I’m watching some guy compete in a jerk-off competition. And, not the kind where you’re challenged to act like a jerk off. The kind that involves your hand and your penis.

And, then there’s all this wasted marketing language found on the site:

“Nothing wakes people up faster to their true potential than the practice of yoga.” [FALSE]

“You have the power to change the world.” [THAT’S ANNOYING]

“But first, you’ve got to get people into the studio.” [CHA-CHING]

“You deserve total abundance and freedom.” [NO YOU DON’T]

“You deserve to make more than enough money.” [LOL. THAT’S AWESOME]

“You deserve to live your dream lifestyle.” [THAT’S INSANE AND GROSS]

“You deserve to spend your time doing what YOU want to do.” [THAT’S PROBABLY THE WORST THING I’VE EVER HEARD]

What’s the deal with all this “deserve” stuff? Who are these people that are so deserving? Judging by the demographics of the average yoga practitioner in America—that 66% of practitioners earn between $75,000–$100,000 a year—I think these people have been reaping the benefits of “deserve” for some time now. Wouldn’t you say? Might “deserve” be code of “entitled to?” Ahh, I pooh pooh in its general direction.

As for the rest of you…. Love your neighbor. Take care of your self.

The end.


PS: Apparently a yoga business revolution event was held in January featuring none other than yoga’s very own “Brand Thyself” guru  as an “expert.” Remember when we discussed that? Fun.


Thanks to one of our readers for the tip.


  1. “You deserve to live your dream lifestyle.” [THAT’S INSANE AND GROSS]

    glad I’m not the only one with insane and gross dream lifestyles! hardcore post dude. giiiiives me thaaa giiiiiigglessss!

  2. amphibi1yogini

    I think the new model, Yoga Marketing Model 3.0, which according to this blog, the world is not ready for is … wait for it … teach a sustainable yoga AND keep your day job … get the prices back down to what aerobics used to cost back in the day (without local parks department subsidy) … if this can’t be done … I will be taking yoga on an as needed basis. As ever, I AM NOT YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC!

    Over and out~~~~

  3. amphibi1yogini

    Oh, and to this guy, I am usually a lady, but to him I say, “FUCK YOU!”

    It does take a lot. And this guy has that lot …

  4. Yoga_Dude

    “You deserve to live your dream lifestyle.”

    Wonderful. I would like to live a simple life with the least amount of material things required to see me through. I would like to have an abundance of good friends. I would like for my children to grow up to be good people.

    Since I am on a path toward this I guess I am living the dream. I don’t know if I deserve it…but I am happy with the way things are going so far.

    However, I’m still working on that “carry water chop wood” thing…I will keep you posted.

  5. Chai Fan

    First of all: Classic piece.

    Secondly, well I couldn’t help doing some googling on this jerk-off, and found this: “Chris is the co-founder of The Yoga Business University and The Yoga Business Summit, the definitive source of yoga business education worldwide.”
    Yoga Business University? Yoga Business Education Worldwide? Where is this? Does it exist in his mind? Its like the kids on the Simpsons wanting to grow up and go to Bovine University.

    And finally, I assume this guy still teaches yoga and/or has taught a lot before he moved on to bullshit university. If I were severely punished and was forced to choose between taking a class with him or Travis, I would choose Travis. Hands down.

  6. Garuda

    I can only imagine this guy , during savasana, going round and placing business cards at the head of everyone’s mat. Step 214 in his upcoming teacher training manual. “I Am Yoga, And So Can You”

    • I can’t imagine what’s worse than being reminded during “yank and crank” just after an aggressive adjustment (because I’d, personally, gone through that) that “you can work on this in a private session” … but I can bet THIS guy, if he still teaches yoga will be saying, “you can work on all this in my teacher training …” WHILE he is doing said aggressive adjustment. Followed by a staredown after class, while he reiterates himself …

  7. I felt immediately fucked and he lasted 38 seconds. That’s a record.

  8. jamie

    You are correct that this can be EJ’s, Waldo Lewis, right down to the douchiness of the whole enterprise.

  9. Linda-Sama

    holy moly, and people think I’M scathing! you nailed it….especially in the fourth sentence. 😀

  10. The moment already came

    Whoa! “The Universe doesn’t give you anything unless you ask for it.” Chris, you need to forget yoga and go for mayor of Detroit. Those stupid poor people just forgot to ask the Universe for money! I bet they’ll just love your positive, empowering message of abundance.

    Someone’s been squeezing his copy of The Secret between his butt cheeks just a bit too tightly. Chris, the Secret is you need to get a real fucking job. And maybe a haircut, hippie.

  11. Look, I thought there would be nobody worse out there than the studio I’d gotten involved with a few years ago. They were pretty darned mercenary, and now one of them has a strong following on the east coast and lesser internationally.

    It seems you have proven me wrong. This guy makes that couple look like altruistic missionaries.

  12. The Corpse

    I dunno… Apparently he made a lot of money in pressure washing…

  13. If yoga is a commodity, like coal, then I don’t see any problem with The Marketing Alchemist. He is just trying to extract maximum profits from the business of yoga. It is classic capitalism. Or is yoga not a commodity?

    • Garuda

      Time may be a commodity. Instruction may be a commodity. And even the water we consume after class could be considered a commodity. But Yoga is a direct experience. Period.

    • The article is less about yoga and more about base marketing techniques. Yoga is merely the dress-up. The Alchemist is the chicken. Yoga is the rub. That sort of thing.

      • Linda-Sama

        exactly. because all you have to do is replace the word “yoga” with “widgets” and you get the same rap. no difference.

    • Yoga Whelp

      Personally, I agree with you – in a way. People spend so much time worried about commercialism in a society based almost entirely on commerce. Why? I think it’s hypocrisy to invoke spiritual “purism” in the context of spiritual “materialism.” I actually favor “naked” materialism – because it’s more honest. I know exactly what Tara Stiles, for example, is about. I put down $$$$ and I might get slim, calm and sexy. That’s a real deal, a fair exchange, with no hidden clauses.. Nothing scary about it. She’s not going to try to invade my body and spirit, and she’s not promising the Second Coming of Shakti. What’s truly scary is the spiritual hucksterism and Tantric vampirism practiced by the many fake gurus operating under the cover of their ashrams and yoga studios. And yet these are some of those same “purists” preaching against spiritual materialism and calling for the creation of “conscious” “living” (barf barf) yoga communities which are nothing but disguised cults. The ones with official branding or former branding – e.g. Anusara and its successors – are even worse, like a high school glee club comprised of Amway distributors..

      • I tend to agree with this train of thought. Which is why we try to come at this from a media crit perspective and not specifically a “yoga lit” one. The problem with Stiles is that she tows the same “this is real yoga” line as the rest, only with a different rope. That said, I’ve probably seen her associated more with the “this is real yoga” tag than most others. Book title? Others problem think it, but they don’t say it.

  14. Garuda

    Mother Theresa and Jesus didnt ask for anything?….Ohhhh Yeahhh…just different things. Babarrazi called this guy a “Douche Nozzle”. I take exception to that characterization because even a douche nozzle has a purpose and at least it is supposed to make you feel better after.

  15. Thaddeus

    A standing ovation is order Babs. Simply outstanding. Bravo.

    If we could somehow hook Chris and Travis up, I would pay the good money I’ve received (because I deserve it) to watch them race each other in a “jerk-off” contest, (and I think you know the kind I’m referring to here.)

  16. voxygen

    “Focus on Service, Focus on Money and remember that is Yoga. It’s connection. It’s bringing those 2 together.”

    No, that is Spiritual Materialism 101.

  17. Why do I feel oily all over suddenly and need to jump into the closest shower stall?
    This guy reminds me of that psycho Jim Cramer of Mad Money. He’s exactly the kind of nauseating jerk who I wish someone would mysteriously air-drop into some remote village in Karnataka with nothing except a lungi to wear and 2 rupees and see how far he gets with that charming personality of his and his yoga spiel.

    • Linda-Sama

      thank you. I had the same thoughts about air dropping certain people when I returned from my first trip to India. but my location was in the middle of Chennai traffic, no cell phone, surrounded by mangy dogs and legless beggars rolling up on wooden carts.

  18. I was reading the comments and thinking that everyone was being more harsh than usual on this guy… and then I watched the video. Ouch.

  19. Yoga_Dude

    I can see him selling the new and improved “pocket asana” from Ronco.

  20. Yoga Wanker (brother of Yoga Whelp)

    Forgive me for saying this, but I have known at least a dozen hookers quite well in my lifetime. Every one of them wakes up thinking how they can improve their “postures” and their overall “technique” to attract more clients, provide a better service, and make more money. It may not be Patanjali’s yoga but the business approach is most definitely “integral.” Maybe the answer is to move YTT to the neighborhood bordello? Even on a busy night, there’s usually at least one room open to practice in. And the girls would probably dig the opportunity to “accessorize” in those Toe Sox booties.

    • The business approach is integral only insofar as yoga continues to participate in and be a significant player in the consumerist-driven market economy, and yoga teachers continue to feel they “deserve” to earn six figures all the while. Outside of that, kind of a non-issue. At least at the level described in the video.

    • Yoga Wanker (brother of Yoga Whelp)

      An entire web site devoted to lampooning the spiritual prostitution of American yoga but make that analogy crystal clear and people start staining their tightie-whities!!! Next time I post, I’ll wear a condom….

    • amphibi1yogini

      A little tired of your gender stereotyping/misogyny … when clearly yoga teachers are pimps (of either gender) and not hookers … (no, not madams … someone with a crass, commercial heart is a pimp, not a madam) … the main thing they pimp is their knowledge. Pimping it out a little at a time. That may or may not include their bodies and their touching. But it’s all (up to and including possible breast implants) done for a price …

      Gender stereotyping masks the real problem. Much of it is that they are trenchantly young … and despite looking versatile, are one-“trick” ponies (i.e. specialists in all those Fakir moves …)

      • Yoga Whelp

        AY – You’re a woman, and frankly,. that’s self-serving gender bullshit. 90% of the yoga teachers and according to Yoga Journal, now 82% of the students are (up from 72% in 2008). You should be tired of my alleged gender stereo-typing, you should be tired of your very real gender prostitution. My suggestion: own it, speak up about, and fucking do something about it, or sit quietly and endure the shame. But don’t pillory me and every other guy for pointing out the inconvenient truth that women’s obsession with clothing nand other accessories is shopping yoga worthy of the name into spiritual extinction. The “feminization” and “commercialization” of yoga are two sides of the very same coin. Frankly most of you yoga women are sheep, but the rest of us – including those few with a clue among you – are getting slaughtered.

        • amphibi1yogini

          No, there’s a BIG difference … I’m an old woman, with little time and little money. Like a man who’s been pussy-whipped, I see through the bullshit and am not susceptible to the mojo of the opposite sex, to wit, … I met one of the biggest young male yoga pimps in the business in my later travels …

    • Garuda

      On a main drag in our town, there is an “F Street Bookstore” exactly next door to the police station. This ‘bookstore’ has been there 20 years. A far sight longer than any other business on the street. I once asked the barber across the street how they were as neighbors and he told me : They were quiet, busy and respectful, without being crass or outwardly exploitative to the area. In short, a good neighbor. Its a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

  21. amphibi1yogini

    I used to hate this Zen Yoga guy; but in fact – his videos did me a BIG favor, as a then-consumer of a spiritual (but bootcamp-ish) vinyasa style, which had its internal martial arts and Dahn Yoga roots …

    but, you know … in comparison to Chris King [and this guy advertises in YJ] he is the Dalai Lama … heck, even that real estate lady across town who went into the yoga business, seems more real and more spiritual … it’s called authenticity, and it’s hard to fake …

  22. Most yoga marketing stuff strikes me as harmless and a little cute.

    But this is not benign. It’s insanely immature and a little disturbing.

    I like that he is so explicit about why one would want to teach more privates (“to make more money, obviously,”) and more retreats (so you can make 5,000 in a weekend and make all those people’s lives better while you are doing it). That’s really helpful. It clarifies some lies that yoga teachers might want to tell themselves. Even people who can’t stand this guy’s style, and who are properly allergic to his been-there-done-that Abraham – the Secret – Marianne Williamson lingo, might still buy in to those ideas on some level. Getting those ideas out there in explicit language, and thus seeing how shallow they really are, might be helpful to people on the fence in matters like this.

    Also… It’s kind of sad to see the word service get co-opted like this. Service isn’t cool. And it isn’t this.

    • amphibi1yogini

      “It clarifies some lies that yoga teachers might want to tell themselves.”

      Some have lied to ME, the student. Used-furniture-salesman type of lies …
      I don’t forget that. But this shows where lies in yoga marketing and sales originate from. Where the “truthiness” (after Steve Colbert) comes from …

  23. Garuda

    “Dri$hti$ Are for $issie$”
    [ Making million$ in the Yin Yang Flim Flam]

  24. jorge

    travis wins hands down, he keeps me just wanting more and more the whole time. this guy’s schtick has been run in the ground too many times already to keep me watching. ayurveda practitioners and acupuncturists have their own version/s of this guy too running around all over the place bouncing around at seminars about how rich we all deserve to be. it’s more sad than anything really, uggh.

    i had an idea. i don’t have the know how to make it happen, but i would love to see a good mash up video of travis/elena/this guy/JF/etc/etc/etc. throw their majestic truth rhymes over a good catchy beat, can even do some of those weird drop dubstep sounds that all the kids seem to be loving on right now. lots of close ups of their flawless faces and knowing gazes. it would be hot. someone please make this come true. I deserve it, seriously.

  25. Wondering

    The leather clad punk rocker, rockabilly, weight loss, beauty lovin, you tube chick with all the DVDs too! Who knows what fabulous new costumed look she may sport for the mash-up premier! It could be red carpet gala….maybe even the largest of its kind ever!!!

  26. Greenpoint

    Lord and Lady Douchebag!….


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