Celebrity! And Yoga! Who Cares!

Via on Dec 13, 2009

celebrity yoga jennifer aniston dvd yogalosophy mandy ingber

I mean, “who cares”…with a question mark.

Well, I have to admit that…I care.

Good god, why?

Well, if fame is simply one’s ability to spread a message, good or bad, happy or sad, to the masses…well, Jennifer Aniston’s new Yoga DVD, Yogalosophy, featuring her yoga teacher Mandy Ingber is a great good thing for yoga, and hopefully for Aniston’s many “friends” out there.

Click here to see Jen’s yoga spread, with Mandy, in SELF magazine a few years back.

About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive. Questions? info elephantjournal com

6,672 views

Appreciate this article? Support indie media!

(We use super-secure PayPal - but don't worry - you don't need an account with PayPal.)

31 Responses to “Celebrity! And Yoga! Who Cares!”

  1. Well, yes, the Yoga blogosphere's been a little quite lately. What a great time to re-ignite the epic Rainbeau Mars/ It's All Yoga Baby Yoga endorsement and authenticity debates! (Although I thought we finally put an end to that with Yobo/Ratra comprehensive solution.)

    Anyway, in spite of my being a Ratra (Radical Traditional) Yoga practitioner, I'm with you all the way on celebrity endorsements. Like you I believe that the more popular Yoga becomes, the better it is for everyone involved, both because exercise Yoga is worthwhile in its own right, and because it's a feeder system for more traditional forms of Yoga. (At this point I always tell the story of how I began Yoga to improve my flexibility for tennis–it was offered right there at my club!)

    Plus this particular popularization of Yoga is named "Yogalosophy", for Pete's sake, and Mandy's stuff is full of references to breathing and meditation and spirituality. She knows her stuff and wants everyone to at least know about the other aspects of Yoga. And Jennifer certainly seems sincere enough.

    But here I am debating without an opponent. Let's see what others think.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  2. Well, yes, the Yoga blogosphere's been a little quite lately. What a great time to re-ignite the epic Rainbeau Mars/ It's All Yoga Baby Yoga endorsement and authenticity debates! (Although I thought we finally put an end to that with Yobo/Ratra comprehensive solution.)

    Anyway, in spite of my being a Ratra (Radical Traditional) Yoga practitioner, I'm with you all the way on celebrity endorsements. Like you I believe that the more popular Yoga becomes, the better it is for everyone involved, both because exercise Yoga is worthwhile in its own right, and because it's a feeder system for more traditional forms of Yoga. (At this point I always tell the story of how I began Yoga to improve my flexibility for tennis–it was offered right there at my club!)

    Plus this particular popularization of Yoga is named "Yogalosophy", for Pete's sake, and Mandy's stuff is full of references to breathing and meditation and spirituality. She knows her stuff and wants everyone to at least know about the other aspects of Yoga. And Jennifer certainly seems sincere enough.

    But here I am debating without an opponent. Let's see what others think.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  3. Well, yes, the Yoga blogosphere's been a little quite lately. What a great time to re-ignite the epic Rainbeau Mars/ It's All Yoga Baby Yoga endorsement and authenticity debates! (Although I thought we finally put an end to that with Yobo/Ratra comprehensive solution.)

    Anyway, in spite of my being a Ratra (Radical Traditional) Yoga practitioner, I'm with you all the way on celebrity endorsements. Like you I believe that the more popular Yoga becomes, the better it is for everyone involved, both because exercise Yoga is worthwhile in its own right, and because it's a feeder system for more traditional forms of Yoga. (At this point I always tell the story of how I began Yoga to improve my flexibility for tennis–it was offered right there at my club!)

    Plus this particular popularization of Yoga is named "Yogalosophy", for Pete's sake, and Mandy's stuff is full of references to breathing and meditation and spirituality. She knows her stuff and wants everyone to at least know about the other aspects of Yoga. And Jennifer certainly seems sincere enough.

    But here I am debating without an opponent. Let's see what others think.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  4. Well, yes, the Yoga blogosphere's been a little quite lately. What a great time to re-ignite the epic Rainbeau Mars/ It's All Yoga Baby Yoga endorsement and authenticity debates! (Although I thought we finally put an end to that with Yobo/Ratra comprehensive solution.)

    Anyway, in spite of my being a Ratra (Radical Traditional) Yoga practitioner, I'm with you all the way on celebrity endorsements. Like you I believe that the more popular Yoga becomes, the better it is for everyone involved, both because exercise Yoga is worthwhile in its own right, and because it's a feeder system for more traditional forms of Yoga. (At this point I always tell the story of how I began Yoga to improve my flexibility for tennis–it was offered right there at my club!)

    Plus this particular popularization of Yoga is named "Yogalosophy", for Pete's sake, and Mandy's stuff is full of references to breathing and meditation and spirituality. She knows her stuff and wants everyone to at least know about the other aspects of Yoga. And Jennifer certainly seems sincere enough.

    But here I am debating without an opponent. Let's see what others think.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  5. Hi, Angela. Thanks for your interesting comments! I make the following clarification not for you, because I'm sure you don't need it, but rather for other readers who might inadvertently misunderstand one aspect of what you wrote above.

    I don't know anyone who is more into the principals of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutra than I am, but I too would be freaked out by chanting during a Jivamukti class or a Yoga studio with gurus on the altar. I think this is a matter of individual preference, even for serious devotees.

    For me personally most Indian rituals would feel phony for me to practice myself, although certainly not so for many other serious Yoga students. (Although I have been known to chant "Om Namah Shivaya" while doing the dishes.)

    I make this point only to reassure those who want to learn more about Yoga philosophy that it doesn't necessarily involve embracing any particular Indian external rituals or symbols. Certainly it does require meditation, breathing, study, and deep spirituality, but not necessarily gurus and altars and Hindu deities. That, in my opinion, is a matter of personal preference, and I've admired advanced Yoga teachers from all points on the spectrum.

    I realize there may be other opinions about this out there, and I would love to hear them.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  6. Hi, Angela. Thanks for your interesting comments! I make the following clarification not for you, because I'm sure you don't need it, but rather for other readers who might inadvertently misunderstand one aspect of what you wrote above.

    I don't know anyone who is more into the principals of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutra than I am, but I too would be freaked out by chanting during a Jivamukti class or a Yoga studio with gurus on the altar. I think this is a matter of individual preference, even for serious devotees.

    For me personally most Indian rituals would feel phony for me to practice myself, although certainly not so for many other serious Yoga students. (Although I have been known to chant "Om Namah Shivaya" while doing the dishes.)

    I make this point only to reassure those who want to learn more about Yoga philosophy that it doesn't necessarily involve embracing any particular Indian external rituals or symbols. Certainly it does require meditation, breathing, study, and deep spirituality, but not necessarily gurus and altars and Hindu deities. That, in my opinion, is a matter of personal preference, and I've admired advanced Yoga teachers from all points on the spectrum.

    I realize there may be other opinions about this out there, and I would love to hear them.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  7. Hi, Angela. Thanks for your interesting comments! I make the following clarification not for you, because I'm sure you don't need it, but rather for other readers who might inadvertently misunderstand one aspect of what you wrote above.

    I don't know anyone who is more into the principals of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutra than I am, but I too would be freaked out by chanting during a Jivamukti class or a Yoga studio with gurus on the altar. I think this is a matter of individual preference, even for serious devotees.

    For me personally most Indian rituals would feel phony for me to practice myself, although certainly not so for many other serious Yoga students. (Although I have been known to chant "Om Namah Shivaya" while doing the dishes.)

    I make this point only to reassure those who want to learn more about Yoga philosophy that it doesn't necessarily involve embracing any particular Indian external rituals or symbols. Certainly it does require meditation, breathing, study, and deep spirituality, but not necessarily gurus and altars and Hindu deities. That, in my opinion, is a matter of personal preference, and I've admired advanced Yoga teachers from all points on the spectrum.

    I realize there may be other opinions about this out there, and I would love to hear them.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  8. Hi, Angela. Thanks for your interesting comments! I make the following clarification not for you, because I'm sure you don't need it, but rather for other readers who might inadvertently misunderstand one aspect of what you wrote above.

    I don't know anyone who is more into the principals of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutra than I am, but I too would be freaked out by chanting during a Jivamukti class or a Yoga studio with gurus on the altar. I think this is a matter of individual preference, even for serious devotees.

    For me personally most Indian rituals would feel phony for me to practice myself, although certainly not so for many other serious Yoga students. (Although I have been known to chant "Om Namah Shivaya" while doing the dishes.)

    I make this point only to reassure those who want to learn more about Yoga philosophy that it doesn't necessarily involve embracing any particular Indian external rituals or symbols. Certainly it does require meditation, breathing, study, and deep spirituality, but not necessarily gurus and altars and Hindu deities. That, in my opinion, is a matter of personal preference, and I've admired advanced Yoga teachers from all points on the spectrum.

    I realize there may be other opinions about this out there, and I would love to hear them.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  9. I agree. And I love this pull-out quote:
    "I balance reading the tabloids with intense study of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads – so there"

  10. Dawn says:

    The world needs more yoga in it so if Hollywood starts spreading the word I'm all for it.

    For the majority, yoga starts with the Asanas and most people start practicing for the physical benefits…although regular practitioners, yoga teachers and true yogis alike know that the yoga is so much more than the physical benefits. However, starting there is perfect and we all know there is something about yoga – once you get on your mat for the first time, something brings you back – we all know this something is much deeper then having a nice behind – that i just an added bonus of the practice!! If more people start practicing yoga maybe just maybe this world will become a more peaceful place. So I say – go Hollywood go – help us spread the word, even if it's focused around having a great body – at least it may get more people giving it a try, getting on their mat for the first time and hopefully they return over and over again and an inner evolution bubbles up within.

  11. Yes, isn't that a great quote?

  12. Well put, yes, but if the celebrity were, say, Paris Hilton, the comments would trend differently methinks. Spreading the word is great—as long as yoga maintains it's roots in the ground, the branches and leaves can and should wave in the wind. If "genuine" yoga, whatever that is, continues to be widely available and popular, then we're all good. If however everyone starts (and stops) attending yoga classes that emphasize yoga butts and music and that's it, well…what will yoga look like in even a generation or two?

    That's the issue here, to my mind: yoga is "new" in the West, young, vulnerable to fads.

  13. Now you see, Angela, those of us who aren't buried in the Star and National Inquier all day because we have our mind on higher pursuits (yuck yuck), have no idea what you're talking about re: "Jennifer Aniston's recent pronouncement.

    And I believe that's perhaps the 3rd time I've ever Googled something and gotten absolutely nothing back.

    Please do tell.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

    Bob Weisenberg

  14. Now you see, Angela, those of us who aren't buried in the Star and National Inquier all day because we have our mind on higher pursuits (yuck yuck), have no idea what you're talking about re: "Jennifer Aniston's recent pronouncement.

    And I believe that's perhaps the 3rd time I've ever Googled something and gotten absolutely nothing back.

    Please do tell.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

    Bob Weisenberg

  15. Now you see, Angela, those of us who aren't buried in the Star and National Inquier all day because we have our mind on higher pursuits (yuck yuck), have no idea what you're talking about re: "Jennifer Aniston's recent pronouncement.

    And I believe that's perhaps the 3rd time I've ever Googled something and gotten absolutely nothing back.

    Please do tell.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

    Bob Weisenberg

  16. Now you see, Angela, those of us who aren't buried in the Star and National Inquier all day because we have our mind on higher pursuits (yuck yuck), have no idea what you're talking about re: "Jennifer Aniston's recent pronouncement.

    And I believe that's perhaps the 3rd time I've ever Googled something and gotten absolutely nothing back.

    Please do tell.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

    Bob Weisenberg

  17. Waylon and Angela. I wish there were some way to prove it, but my observation and experience (particularly from editing "Yoga in America") tells me that all Yoga boats are rising with the popularization of Yoga. There is no reason to think of one type of Yoga taking away from another.

    Indeed, I think the opposite is true because commercial Yoga feeds those who are interested into tradtional Yoga. It appears to me that all forms of Yoga, from exercise only, to the most traditional of Yoga centers, are thriving.

    I actually did try to prove this by just tracking the growth of Yoga teachers over the last 10-20 years by type of Yoga. But the data doesn't seem to be available anywhere.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  18. Waylon and Angela. I wish there were some way to prove it, but my observation and experience (particularly from editing "Yoga in America") tells me that all Yoga boats are rising with the popularization of Yoga. There is no reason to think of one type of Yoga taking away from another.

    Indeed, I think the opposite is true because commercial Yoga feeds those who are interested into tradtional Yoga. It appears to me that all forms of Yoga, from exercise only, to the most traditional of Yoga centers, are thriving.

    I actually did try to prove this by just tracking the growth of Yoga teachers over the last 10-20 years by type of Yoga. But the data doesn't seem to be available anywhere.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  19. Waylon and Angela. I wish there were some way to prove it, but my observation and experience (particularly from editing "Yoga in America") tells me that all Yoga boats are rising with the popularization of Yoga. There is no reason to think of one type of Yoga taking away from another.

    Indeed, I think the opposite is true because commercial Yoga feeds those who are interested into tradtional Yoga. It appears to me that all forms of Yoga, from exercise only, to the most traditional of Yoga centers, are thriving.

    I actually did try to prove this by just tracking the growth of Yoga teachers over the last 10-20 years by type of Yoga. But the data doesn't seem to be available anywhere.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  20. Waylon and Angela. I wish there were some way to prove it, but my observation and experience (particularly from editing "Yoga in America") tells me that all Yoga boats are rising with the popularization of Yoga. There is no reason to think of one type of Yoga taking away from another.

    Indeed, I think the opposite is true because commercial Yoga feeds those who are interested into tradtional Yoga. It appears to me that all forms of Yoga, from exercise only, to the most traditional of Yoga centers, are thriving.

    I actually did try to prove this by just tracking the growth of Yoga teachers over the last 10-20 years by type of Yoga. But the data doesn't seem to be available anywhere.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  21. [...] endorsement and the folks at elephant journal took it to task and asked the perennial question, “Celebs + Yoga, Who cares?” which then snowballed into a debate over “any publicity is good publicity” vs. ” [...]

  22. I actually am continually impressed by YJ's featuring models that aren't conventional in weight, appearance, ethnicity, age…that said I have no idea about the depth of the articles. Shambhala Sun handled that challenge, I think, by publishing the more in depth, smaller Buddhadharma. Yoga Journal could do the same.

  23. Here in Boulder, Corepower is packed and popular, and opening studios all over US. It has a good reputation, is clean, organized, etc. But however wonderful it is, it's not "traditional" yoga, and they'd be the first to admit that.

    On the other hand Richard Freeman's Yoga Workshop is one big room, no mudroom, no staff hardly, and many classes (not Richard's) are sparsely attended. In fact, they're looking at changing the entire studio to focus more on teacher trainings.

    Point being: old school yoga can't always compete with new school.

  24. H, Waylon.

    I never meant to imply that they can compete. but rather the opposite–that they should't even try to compete. Many devotees of more traditional Yoga prefer to practice alone or are teachers themselves.

    Exercise Yoga has grown many times faster than traditional Yoga, so it's easy to miss that traditional Yoga has been growing as well, but at a much slower pace. Again, I wish I could come up with the numbers to prove this, or to learn that I am wrong! I would be the first to admit it if I am.

    I admit that anecdotes like the Freeman example don't support my case. I would think he'd be growing or at least stable. But I'm not sure studio attendance tells the story. That's why I'm after teacher training data. We know some more traditional movements have been thriving. I'm still hoping to find someone who has studied Yoga growth by type.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  25. H, Waylon.

    I never meant to imply that they can compete. but rather the opposite–that they should't even try to compete. Many devotees of more traditional Yoga prefer to practice alone or are teachers themselves.

    Exercise Yoga has grown many times faster than traditional Yoga, so it's easy to miss that traditional Yoga has been growing as well, but at a much slower pace. Again, I wish I could come up with the numbers to prove this, or to learn that I am wrong! I would be the first to admit it if I am.

    I admit that anecdotes like the Freeman example don't support my case. I would think he'd be growing or at least stable. But I'm not sure studio attendance tells the story. That's why I'm after teacher training data. We know some more traditional movements have been thriving. I'm still hoping to find someone who has studied Yoga growth by type.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  26. H, Waylon.

    I never meant to imply that they can compete. but rather the opposite–that they should't even try to compete. Many devotees of more traditional Yoga prefer to practice alone or are teachers themselves.

    Exercise Yoga has grown many times faster than traditional Yoga, so it's easy to miss that traditional Yoga has been growing as well, but at a much slower pace. Again, I wish I could come up with the numbers to prove this, or to learn that I am wrong! I would be the first to admit it if I am.

    I admit that anecdotes like the Freeman example don't support my case. I would think he'd be growing or at least stable. But I'm not sure studio attendance tells the story. That's why I'm after teacher training data. We know some more traditional movements have been thriving. I'm still hoping to find someone who has studied Yoga growth by type.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  27. H, Waylon.

    I never meant to imply that they can compete. but rather the opposite–that they should't even try to compete. Many devotees of more traditional Yoga prefer to practice alone or are teachers themselves.

    Exercise Yoga has grown many times faster than traditional Yoga, so it's easy to miss that traditional Yoga has been growing as well, but at a much slower pace. Again, I wish I could come up with the numbers to prove this, or to learn that I am wrong! I would be the first to admit it if I am.

    I admit that anecdotes like the Freeman example don't support my case. I would think he'd be growing or at least stable. But I'm not sure studio attendance tells the story. That's why I'm after teacher training data. We know some more traditional movements have been thriving. I'm still hoping to find someone who has studied Yoga growth by type.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  28. Seamus says:

    Nah, no thanks.

  29. Jennifer Aniston is a yogi … It probably is wise to let go of good or bad categories … and let awareness expand.

    Namaste,

    Steve

  30. I recently uncovered this great site Jennifer Aniston’s new DVD, Yogalosophy, featuring her yoga teacher Mandy Ingber | elephant journal through Search engines, a nice thing Mmm how about Tunisia awesome headlines? Regards ! Rob Rasner Magic Castle

Leave a Reply