This “YYoga” Vid is About as Corporate as It Gets ///

One of the arguments for defining “yoga” in as broad of terms as possible, suggests that in doing so more people will find a way to the promised land. Meaning: if “yoga” is defined as both “secular excercise with no squiggly words,” as well as a “spiritual discipline with tons of squiggly words” that means there’s a better chance that two different people will come to the practice. Where as, if yoga were to be solely defined as something chillum-huffing sadhus do, only dreadlocked trustafarians would be into it.

Below is a video that apparently defines yoga as “something affluent white women do on the top floor of five-star Dubai hotels in order to work off the previous night’s epic orgasm facilitated by a thirty-something oil-rich Saudi national who seasoned the evening with $500 bottles of Japanese vodka and serious neck bling.”

Or, it’s just something you’d find advertised in the back of SkyMall:

Here’s what we know from an anonymous tipster:

fun fact 1: after many major toronto yoga studios refused to sell to YYoga, they’re opening an enormous (somewhere around 8000 sq/ft?) space at Queen and John, at the heart of TO’s entertainment district.

fun fact 2: the CEO-founder of YYoga is Terry McBride, CEO-founder of Nettwerk Records.”

Now, what we have here is some serious Canada swiz, which means that, with the exception of Nettwerk Records who once upon a time were, for me, synonymous with Skinny Puppy

Skinny+Puppy

…I’m floating around aimlessly in a dark sea of semiotic gibberish. Like, I don’t know a damn thing about what any of this means in terms of “is this a big deal in Canada,” or “do all women in Canada sound like they’re selling organic cotton tampons every time they speak about yoga?” I can assume, however, that a Canadian yoga business venture of this nature has got to be a lot cleaner than anything we have here in “the States” amenity-wise, and will certainly have less gun violence associated with it.

I should also say that were this to be my first experience of “yoga” back in the day, I’d have shit myself with laughter only to find myself a decade later still answering the question “What do you do for exercise?” with that classic of guy answers, “I sometimes go for a run.” The unfortunate part of this “what if” scenario is that in place of me doing yoga would be some urban yuppie jerk-off working in “finance” who never moved beyond “I like yoga because it gives me a good sweat” despite commercial yoga culture’s false assumption that people who do yoga solely for exercise will someday transform into full-fledged Naga Babas.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I took this hypothetical chode’s place. He can have Equinox.

25 comments

  1. “do all women in Canada sound like they’re selling organic cotton tampons every time they speak about yoga?”

    No, just the formerly-out-of-the affluent-suburbs-college-grads-now-living-downtown-to-look-cool-in-order-to-snag-a-husband-ASAP-WASP-y ones like the kind you see in this (unfortunately) white-only video. The chicks who did listen to Skinny Puppy back in the day, who were alternative or goth, before alternative or goth became popular, wouldn’t be caught dead in this scene.
    Shame on the makers of this vid. Multiculturalism is official Canadian government policy and has been since 1988.

  2. Greenpoint

    ah, take off you hoser, eh!

  3. At first I got a little mad at the title of this post … I thought you had been referring to the movie about Bryan Kest narrated by a policeman …http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xba_XymNRo

    This is so much, much worse …

  4. I want to shit all over the clean bathrooms there

    • The P

      But then one of their “guest experience” and housekeeping volunteer team members would have to clean it up! Then again .. maybe an afternoon of scraping shit will wake up the volunteers to the reality they are donating their time and energy to support someone else’s profitable business.

  5. “something affluent white women do on the top floor of five-star Dubai hotels in order to work off the previous night’s epic orgasm facilitated by a thirty-something oil-rich Saudi national who seasoned the evening with $500 bottles of Japanese vodka and serious neck bling.”

    truly hilarious.

  6. Garuda

    I had the same presumption about La Jolla Yoga Center. The I went there and my mind was changed. I went to a 6 day training there and I was stunned at the professionalism and grace with which they ran a busy three floor Yoga Center. I get that they presented themselves as Secularly Vanilla, but I go to studio for asana training, I will meet Jesus ( or Vishnu) later on.

    • Excellent point, Garuda! Perhaps there would be something refreshingly “neutral” about the teaching here. Of course, as far as advertising goes, I find this funny.

      • That is what would make sense… they are probably very apt to be well versed in the Sutras, the Upanishads, etc.as well. They are just looking for newbies to help finance their endeavors by taking classes, with their initial false hopes of their getting a “spa experience” to lure them in. And just a class. Then, of course, the studio managers move in for the jugular. Hopefully only to those that are interested.

        A beginner or advanced beginner and want a straight-on yoga class experience? Go somewhere else …

        That’s how they all work.

      • Garuda

        There is also something to be said for the kind of studio that doesn’t lead with “celebrity c’mon”. When John Friend was coming to town with ‘The Center’, it was like Moby Dick had just swam into town. Studios were closing faster than a mackerel sphincter.
        ‘Tis my hope that when the Great White Whale Yoga studio swims into town that they don’t just swallow everything worth while as they cast their shadow, but only time will tell whether they will be a good neighbor …or not

  7. This is what Corporations do. The swallow a product, chew it up, regurgitate and homogenize it, and spit out this flavorless bland Pink Goo! Best way to rid your Community of businesses like this is to not support them with your dollars, or loonies as this is a Canadian Story…..Namast..ay?

    • Garuda

      Like Subway Sandwiches…If you are a local deli, Subway comes to town and threatens your business, it means you didn’t have anything unique that Subway couldn’t replace. If you did have a product that wasn’t pink goo, it wouldn’t be a problem at all. HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

  8. Emily

    Oh god, they’re having John Friend come and do a workshop! Check out his new photo– he looks homeless. Are we supposed to feel sorry for him with this look? http://www.yyoga.ca/programs-and-workshops/workshops-and-events/presenting-john-friend-and-desi-springer/

    • Cally

      In JF’s bio they describe him as ‘controversial’ like there is some question that what he did was wrong. Makes me want to pull all his scruffy beard hairs out…

  9. The P

    A quick look at the career opportunities at YYoga show the only paid (and contracted) position listed is for a Business Analyst reporting to the Vice President of Financing. The remaining positions are volunteer positions (with extensive qualifications needed) involving donating your time to clean their fancy facilities and to do free marketing and promotion for the their upscale company. I bet they refer to the volunteer positions as a form of karma yoga, as well.

    Building a “community” of yoga consumers based on strategic business models and free labor suckers.

    http://www.yyoga.ca/footer-menu/careers/

    • amphibi1yogini

      Yes, I JUST KNEW IT.

      They are receptionists and spa attendants in exchange for Teacher Training … The Real Housewives of Kits Beach …

  10. vern

    They learned well from Waylon. Get people to work for free. A yoga fool is born every second even in Canada.

  11. amphibi1yogini

    I was a yoga fool before I became a pilates practitioner.
    Just remember that all of this that which you see at YYoga is quite acceptable in the pilates world.
    Not saying it’s great for those, like me, who can’t afford it and won’t go in much for it because of that.
    But it is what it is.

  12. Dear Babarazzi,
    I’m a little late with this comment, and I could wait for this subject to be addressed again here (as I’m sure it will be), but something has occurred to me. When the Buddha was faced with the question of how broad to make his pronouncements on spiritual practice, he made things broader than they had ever been (not limiting things in connection with hardline theistic belief). That actually went along with yoga’s evolution toward greater inclusiveness and accessibility. So I agree with you that the corporate interest in a wide net is despicable in cases like the ones you describe, and yet it’s important to keep in mind that the real transformational messages do go along with the evolutionary process of greater inclusiveness. A wide net doesn’t itself bespeak of corporate corruption. It might just be a wide (actually yogic) net. Do you agree?

  13. Omiya

    I have been to YYOGA, and I stopped going a few years ago to save my soul. YYOGA came into Vancouver and started buying up tiny independent studios. Then the behemoth in the video was built and yoga slowly crumbled in this city. They are spreading like the plague. Most of the “popular” teachers are long-gone. They will allow young, cute white women to teach huge classes after only one year of practising yoga and taking their teacher training course, while turning away senior teachers who do not fit their skinny, cute white woman image. The place makes me SO ANGRY!!! And when I saw they were hosting John Friend…even that surprised me.
    Very happy to see you outing them on your website. Luckily Vancouver still has a number of small, independent yoga studios…and two ashtanga shalas…

  14. yogadas

    Take your time, B.

  15. Linda-Sama

    wow. didn’t see any tats or dreads. must not be real yogis. 😉

  16. Mohamed Allise

    Great Blog. Man, I had no idea YYoga even existed, and that it’s coming to a town like mine. Yes, I too want to object, and So Does My get down(ward facing) puppy !!

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