Fresh off the pro-union train, yogis were caught by surprise when it came to light that freaktastic comedian, Russel Brand, staged a walkout in support of his fav Kundalini Yoga instructor, Tej, who, rumor has it, wanted to quit Golden Bridge, but was, presumably unfairly, locked in a contract.
Radar Online has got the whole story:
“‘Russell absolutely adores Tej, and she has become something of a guru to him,’ an insider tells Radar. ‘They are the best of friends. They meditate together, they hike, they go to vegan restaurants together, and Russell took it very personally when he found out that Tej wasn’t happy at Golden Bridge. Tej told Russell that she wanted to quit teaching at the studio, but claimed they wouldn’t let her out of her contract. That made him spitting mad and he vowed to take action on her behalf!”
Russel’s own words truly capture the bubbling activist that resides in every peace-loving populist yogi:
“‘Golden Bridge is not treating my friend in a respectful manner,’ Russell charged. ‘After years of dutiful service, they refuse to let her out of her contract. If you’d like to continue to study with her, follow me!’ An eyewitness says the crowd shifted nervously for a few seconds, wondering whether or not they were being Punk’d, but soon enough, at least half of the class, [Demi] Moore included, rolled up their mats and followed Russell right out the door!”
Of course, there are two sides to this twisty tale, with Golden Bridge denying any contract squabbles taking place.
Our inside scoopers inform us that things at the Golden Bridge megaplex haven’t been peachy in years. Something about Golden Bridge higher-ups being none to pleased with sharing the spotlight. Something about higher-ups traveling for much of the year and other long-time committed teachers getting understandably popular and higher-ups coming home and not being psyched about that. There’s also been reports of students canceling their Golden Bridge passes after the jump by Tej, who is also reported to have taken the Kundalini as Taught by Yogi Bhajan teachings back to the people by offering classes out of warehouse spaces. That said, neither Tej nor GB were available for comment. So, you know, take all that with a grain of anthrax.
Nevertheless, at the end of the above article a commenter with the handle “natures candy” put the whole mess into pristine perspective:
“It’s this kind of thing that makes me lose what little curious faith I have in the centering and self-improving properties of these kinds of activities. I mean, If I were to go to yoga, it would be to calmly and peacefully try to eliminate the small part of my lizard brain that tries to make me act like Russel Brand. If Russel brand does this much yoga, and is still full on Russel Brand, then Yoga is just not looking like a good investment for mental and spiritual health. Although I guess I’d have to see a control group Russel Brand…”
Eh, but Russel can’t be that bad. You have to admit, Brand can be pretty funny as fuckin’ hell when he’s not being cracked out and…well…actually…that is when he’s being ridiculously funny. And, let’s not forget his skewering of the Westboro Baptist Church, home of some of the most awful human pieces of shit ever born (note that the link to the WBC site reads http://www.godhatesfags.com. You have to give them credit for clarity):
And, for this I can forgive Russel’s perpetual über-schtick.
Anyone who hates on the WBC is okay in my book.
I would think more pertinent is the nature of spiritual and yoga organizations, they have the same problems as any other non spiritual org, and maybe worse , because people aren’t encouraged to leave the pack when it’s time. Some kind of ersatz never ending harmony is supposed to keep all parties blissful and eternally wise, Not!
Thing is, WBC only has 40 members! On a practical basis, they’re best ignored – don’t give em a platform.
These hammy, cheeky Brits just love to host and interview American “extremists.” Maybe Piers Morgan and Russell Brand could do a vaudeville road show, inviting people from the audience to spew their favorite invective. On the other hand, maybe someone could interview yoga “extremists”?
“Wait a minute, love, you’re telling us that when I do potty in the morning, I’m actually doing something called ‘chair pose’? What about picking my nose? Oh, that’s a form of ‘pranayama’? And what about this cosmic Elephant and Monkey you see everywhere? I mean Jimmy Stewart once had a giant invisible rabbit for a friend, but that was just a movie (Harvey) – and Stewart’s character was a lush.
Let me just say: this sense of hilarity and disbelief that I feel about what you’re saying? Let’s just call It ‘Laughing Yoga’, shall we?
Oh Christ, that exists, too!”
Just want to be clear on something: I wasn’t making fun of the rich Hindu pantheon of gods here. It’s commercial yoga that has instrumetnalized this same pantheon for profit. There are Ganesh yoga mat and Ganesh yoga mat sleeves to name just two products. http://www.cafepress.com/+ganesh+yoga-mats
Hanuman – you know, that wild and crazy monkey god – is used all the time to “brand” yoga workshops and festivals. Basically, these icons have become what marketers call “mascots” — much like the Geico insurance “Gekko.”
Imagine if someone had manufactured Virgin Mary condoms. Catholics would be appalled, of course, but many non-Catholics would say – whoa, hat goes too far. My point: in commercial yoga, NOTHING goes too far. Everything is up for grabs – and for sale. The only thing sacred is promoting yoga – at all costs, especially to our wallets and our psyches.
Why is it that whenever I see or hear about Russel Brand. I dont know how to turn my head away. Like a trainwreck, I just cant stop watching. Is this dude an evil genius or a borderline personality, or just a clown?
Are those three nouns mutually exclusive? His handling of the guests and the audience was terrific. I don’t know a real live yogi or yogini capable of displaying the same grace frankly. They turn on each other at the drop of a mat. Maybe he could start a sensitivity training program for yogis?
I like how he handed the pious their arses without them even noticing. I just love the contradictory world views as interpreted through the bible. Even Jesus rejected the old testament. I guess that is what can happen when family members share the same tooth brush for too long. Down in Floralabamassippi the tooth brush is their pride and joy. If the tooth brush had been invented anywhere else, it would have been called a teeth brush.
AB’s right? RB is a very talented guy. I didn’t read his bit here as: “I’ll play this straight, let-the-crazies-hang-themselves-in-public.” There was a hint of “do all of REALLY want to hate on each other”? We all fart, after all. It’s hard to demonize people when you deal with them up close, face to face. Did he change any minds? No. Was it a zone of relative peace? Yes, and I hate to sound wan, but that’s probably a good thing. But it wasn’t yoga, either. Yogis never really deal.
As a long time practioner and teacher of Kundalini Yoga, I assure all Yoga teachers DO is deal…and then some, and kundalini yoga’ and yogi bahajan’s stance on anger is not to eliminate it but to channel it well, so well done to both Russell and Tej ji
pardon the typos 🙂