What’s your reaction?

Via on Aug 26, 2010

Double Zero All the Way!

What’s your take on the marketing of our elephriend Tara Stiles’ book by Women’s Health? Feel free to skip my two cents, below, and offer your unbiased view in the comments section below.

Click here to see the whole marketing piece.

Mine’s mixed.

> Yoga for the masses? Good.

> Slim? Okay. It’s a better word than “skinny,” certainly, in a culture obsessed with dieting, losing weight, losing those extra five pounds. We are an increasingly, frighteningly obsese nation, so fitness is a good thing—and Tara is the queen of making yoga accessible.

Yoga is a great way to stay in shape. Yoga offers a path toward learning to love one’s body—or at least accept it, and stop going to war with it every time we look in the mirror or see our reflection in a window or consider whether we want to help ourselves to seconds.

> “From eight to double zero,” the featured pull out quote? Humph.

> Also, not sure “15 minutes a day” is sufficient for the various enthusiastic claims.

Overall, I do looove the idea of yoga made accessible and un-intimidating for the masses, so I’ll just stay with that happy thought:

Yoga for the masses good. Yoga for the masses good.

~~~

Obesity rankings, state by state:

Click the map to see the progression, year by year (Colorado, where I live, is one of only two states with obesity (far worse than “fat”) below 20% of the population. That said, only 20 years ago, Colorado’s current rate of obesity would have made us the most obese in the USA. That’s shockingly dramatic change in just 20 years.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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41 Responses to “What’s your reaction?”

  1. nancy says:

    yoga for the masses=good. i love Tara and will probably purchase the book, BUT the marketing and and overall look of this is a very Cosmo magazine.

  2. ARCreated says:

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  3. Ashley says:

    Tara Stiles is clearly primarily vata dosha, and has a small boned frame. Her thin stature isn't because of practicing yoga, she has been thin her whole life. It's pathetic of the publisher to use her as bait to entice the masses into their brand of yogification.

    yeah- sickens me too!

  4. Howie says:

    The sad thing is a size 8 is nothing to be ashamed of. Size 00 is just too damned small.

  5. Calm & Sexy 8 says:

    But hey! It comes with a FREE gift! and you can get a FREE 21 day preview!!!
    I say save the $ and just get you butt (whichever size) to a regular yoga class.

  6. Marqueeta says:

    Wow. I made it to age 50 without ever hearing of Size 00 before. Double zero is the new size 6. Geez.

  7. Tara's classes, videos, and columns are actually quite good and filled with sensible advice, self-acceptance, and light meditation. Even the second page of this ad is all about Controlling stress to avoid overeating.

    But this ad is false advertising, pure and simple. It makes claims that are simply and know-ably untrue for the vast majority of readers. And it does so without the usual "results may vary" disclaimer that most of these types of extreme ads have.

    Judging from Tara's other work, and even her other ads, many of which I like, I wouldn't be surprised if Tara's conscience is not bothered by this ad.

    I expect a little puffery in advertising. But this is definitely going for the big bucks at the expense of truth in advertising.

    Bob Weisenberg
    ElephantJournal

    • elephant journal elephantjournal says:

      Well said. She's great, this marketing piece is great in wanting to connect with the new yoga students, but may not be great in its message.

  8. YogiOne says:

    Would Yoga benefit the kind of people who would be attracted by this kind of advertising?

  9. Melanie Klein Melanie says:

    Double zero? That’s the goal? Awful. Shameful advertising.

  10. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Here we go again: another 'celebrity yoga babe' promoting yoga as miracle weight loss. It sickens me. What's your reaction? http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/08/whats-your… posted by Ben Ralston

    #
    Jennifer N It can help you lose weight, it builds muscle and tone, and i work up an awesome sweat in yoga–especially vinyasa or power yoga or bikram yoga! Buy some cardio is necessary too.

    #
    Tim D ugh!
    5 hours ago · LikeUnlike · ·
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    Royce B focus on being healthy
    5 hours ago · LikeUnlike · ·
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    Diana K Personally, I lost 70 pounds doing power yoga. I feel that no matter how you get someone to do yoga, eventually they are going to learn the benefits that are above and beyond the original reason for picking up the practice.
    5 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading… · ·
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    Caroline W If I had seen yoga marketed this way before I started practicing, I would have run the other way.

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    Jessica H One of my favorite yoga teachers says something like "your inner critic may have tricked you in to coming to yoga to lose weight or look better…" but he goes on to talk about how yoga is a practice of meeting yourself exactly where you are with love, acceptance and compassion. Hopefully even if people begin the practice with an idea of weightloss in mind, they'll still experience true yoga apart from asana at some point.

    #
    Laura T who cares

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    Alec A ‎@Laura Right, just move on…

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    Ellen J It for sure will reach some people who will roll out a mat to practice, if that is what it takes to wake up some……..fine. Hopefully they will see that Yoga is soooooooooooo much more and that some of them embrace those miracles as a Yogi

    #
    Deborah Q the western bastardization of yoga in its truest form…ommmmm

    #
    Kim C Indeed, Deborah — and how sad, the poor girl also appears to have an eating disorder. Or maybe she is only, like 15 . . .

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    Bob Z ‎15 minutes a day. someone has not looked closely at my profile pics. does it come with liposuction?

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    Liz S anybody who believes it can buy my lakefront property in new orleans east.

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    Suzanne M I have many students who come for yoga for physical reasons (whether to get more in shape or relieve pain), but most find that they keep coming back for other reasons far more personal and inspiring. The more people we can get on their mats, the better. I do agree that they need to represent everyone on the cover of yoga magazines, though!

    #
    Mary Ann R some yoga novices i'm teaching thought yoga would help them lose weight. yes, it can, but not in the way you think! yoga brings body awareness, acceptance of where you are now, and friendship with your body. when you have those, the weight loss follows.

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    Kirsty (カーステイ) Tara Stiles is the best so don't be horrid about her!!

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    Scott N I lost 30 lbs after starting yoga. It intensified my focus on all things wellness related. Oh, and folks, everything is connected right? Physical practice of Yoga IS spiritual practice.

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    Anny Diaz ૐ do not Hate! just focus on just welcome people to the mat everything else will fall into place or at least spark curiosity about it!

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    Rachael T I think it's great. Many people want and NEED to shed some pounds. What better way to do that than yoga? I mean, seriously.

    #
    elephantjournal.com Kirsty, the above passionate comment was hosted and made by our friend and yoga teacher columnist Ben Ralston, not myself (Waylon Lewis). Click the article to see my reaction. I would say that double zero is purty small, and plays into some weight loss neuroses. That said, I like Tara, too.

  11. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Amen, Rachael T! But double zero from a size eight? This isn't so much about health, this is about fear, the way it's being marketed.

  12. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Scott, I beg to differ. That's like saying that sitting cross-legged silently IS meditation. Yoga needs to involve breath practice, which it doesn't always in its physical form. It needs to involve good alignment, and hopefully some sort of positive intention. Otherwise, it's just Eastern-flavored aerobics.

  13. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Kim, I know Tara a little, and she's healthy for herself. I just don't think that a double zero should be held up as healthy for others, when so many Americans already are susceptible to mainstream marketing and barbie-syndrome and eating disorders.

  14. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    Laura T, maybe we don't need to care, we know better, but would you say the same thing about a young woman looking at a, say, diet ad that pictures thin women encouraging other women to get double zero in only 15 minutes a day?

  15. I guess I am a little naive about the subject – I didn't even know there was such a thing as a double zero. I am a size 8 and weigh about 130 pounds (5'5"). Once upon a time I was not so well weighing 110 and size 4 was falling off me – I would not get a size 2 because I was already looking VERY unhealthy. A student (I am a yoga teacher) had not seen me in a while and said "you are so thin, you look great" – I did not look great – I looked sickly, but all she saw was that I was thin. It's unfortunate that our society thinks thin=well. Wellness is as much about emotional well being as it is about how we look. Our personal journey will bring us to this realization, so there is not much sense in bashing this or bashing that – those that are complaining about the ads have an opinion and likely are educated about marketing. The people who are attracted to it may not be aware of how they are being 'sucked in' because they are not aware about many aspects of thier lives. Let's not judge that and hold the space for increased awareness so people do not think a double zero is a good thing. Namaste.

  16. Jhon says:

    genes n diet have more to do with this than yoga but bra fat pushes this into the absurd

  17. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    #
    elephantjournal.com Here's yoga aimed in the opposite direction: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/08/yoga-a-too

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    April: Size 00. How disappointing that they pulled that testimonial for marketing purposes :( How are we ever going to make progress in helping women to embrace and love their bodies if they think healthy only means being tiny?

    #
    Maureen:
    I guess I am a little naive about the subject – I didn't even know there was such a thing as a double zero. I am a size 8 and weigh about 130 pounds (5'5"). Once upon a time I was not so well weighing 110 and size 4 was falling off me – I w…ould not get a size 2 because I was already looking VERY unhealthy. A student (I am a yoga teacher) had not seen me in a while and said "you are so thin, you look great" – I did not look great – I looked sickly, but all she saw was that I was thin. It's unfortunate that our society thinks thin=well. Wellness is as much about emotional well being as it is about how we look. Our personal journey will bring us to this realization, so there is not much sense in bashing this or bashing that – those that are complaining about the ads have an opinion and likely are educated about marketing. The people who are attracted to it may not be aware of how they are being 'sucked in' because they are not aware about many aspects of their lives. Let's not judge that and hold the space for increased awareness so people do not think a double zero is a good thing. Namaste.See More

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    Lezlie: Everyone comes to yoga for their own reasons and a grounded yoga practice includes nonjudgement of oneself and others…… You are simply advertising for this cause. So who gives a care?

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    Laurie:
    Let me just say that it is photos like the above of Tara that will continue to keep me OUT of a yoga class. I am getting older (54) and am not skinny (5'10", 150lbs) but not fat. I'm healthy and somewhat fit. I am NOT coordinated or flexible. I see yoga being presented (just look at all the video covers!) by young, beautiful, skinny people folding themselves in half, & smiling the entire time – and I have always figured that is who they'd like in their class. Right or wrong, that is how I've seen it presented to the world.See More

    #
    elephantjournal.com
    Lezlie, I hear you, but that's a distinctly Western confusion re spirituality. Spirituality does not preclude judgment. It's about mindfulness, which involves "knowing what to accept and what to reject." Spirituality does discourage pre-judgment!

    Anyways, read the article before commenting, you'll see what I said about Tara, which is quite different in tone to what Ben said in his passionate introduction, above.

  18. Karine says:

    I've lost 65 pounds over the course of a year going yoga (a minimum of 20mins, but most often up to 1hour- 5 to 6 times a week) and changing my diet completely for the better (cutting out processed foods, meat almost entirely – and replacing this by whole food and a plant-based diet). I still have some to loose to be at a "healthy weight", being a 5'9'' female and currently at 213 pounds – but I am healthier than I have ever been in my entire adult life.

    People that need to loose a lot of weight often get desperate and want a quick fix – this type of advertisement speaks out to them for all the wrong reason and gets their hopes up that by ONLY doing yoga for 15 min a day (and maybe changing little else) they will lose weight FAST and become thin and beautiful in no time flat — this is misleading. Loosing weight in a healthy conscious way takes time, and you need to change your way of life and habits to achieve it. There is no quick fix. This type of advertising makes me sad, because I know it will cause disappointment in people that look for home in every "quick fix" claim to fame.

    • ARCreated says:

      I could HUG you!!!!!!!!! Thank you for stating it so eloquently.

      and congrats!! I lost about 40 lbs when I started yoga and then something really cool happened, I started to like myself :)
      But like you I was doing power yoga 5 days a week for up to 1.5 hours a day and had a diet overhaul. I think it's insane and misleading and almost cruel to promise that 15 minutes a day is going to do it…it's a start maybe a jumping in point but it will not be the whole answer.

  19. Harcord says:

    What a tool.

  20. Linda-Sama says:

    I'm still reeling from the mention of BRA FAT! Holy Shiva, there are people starving in the world and homeless children living on the street and now I have to worry about BRA FAT?!?

    the shame of it all…..

  21. ARCreated says:

    exactly!!! it's not about whether it will lead to more people doing yoga it's about it promoting super skinny as healthy about making people believe that it can happen in 15 minutes a day…it's….well it's sort of sad that it sounds like a diet pill commercial.

  22. I’m sure I’ve written too much about this already.

    And even I condemned this latest ad as “blatant false advertising” and totally inconsistent with Tara’s writing, video instructions clips, and even her iPod application with Chopra.

    I urge everyone to go over right now and read the first ten pages of Tara’s book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/aTCTCp

    The first thing you notice is that unlike the ad, which promises that you will BE slim, calm, and sexy, in the book Tara makes it very clear that the goal is to make you FEEL that way from the inside out, to get to wherever is right for you, not some artificial ideal–to get to whatever makes you feel good inside, regardless of your body type. She discusses her own struggles with body image, stress, and lack of self-esteem as a ballet dancer and model.

    This does not excuse the awful false advertising in the ad, but it’s nice to see that this is over-the-top marketing as opposed to being representative of the book itself. (Actually it would be hard to imagine a whole book as bad as this ad.)

    Now, why couldn’t she just say in the ad what she says in the book?

    Bob Weisenberg
    ElephantJournal

  23. Yogini3 says:

    I am noticing on Amazon.com, that the image of the Back Cover does NOT include that Size 00 blurb (unless it was reserved for a spinoff DVD or something else, it looks like it was redone some way). I can just imagine the heads that might have rolled at Rodale Press when they got wind of reaction by this blog, and maybe even their neighbors, relatives and friends …

    Way to go, elephant!

  24. [...] especially those new to yoga, are sometimes intimidated to walk into a studio and find a waif waiting to check them in.  Do yourself and your new students a favor: have a curvy teacher or student welcoming people in [...]

  25. [...] This trend continues with ads that focus solely on weight loss such as the recent ad promising a yogi-slim body in the form of a size-zero and the continued use of models that don’t reflect the diverse range of women and men [...]

  26. [...] is left in the hands of others…she herself is awesome. But marketing yoga as a way to get to size zero is spreading neurosis and weight issues. Size zero!? You know how small that is? Tara herself, [...]

  27. [...] get a little sick of the “yoga will make you a size zero,” articles and memoirs. Is that really what it’s all about? For me, my time on the mat is about [...]

  28. elephant journal elephantjournal says:

    We've posted many of Tara's wonderful videos and all. I love, like and respect her. I do not love or particularly respect this ad.

  29. Nancy says:

    ditto here

  30. ARCreated says:

    not everyone looks sickly at size 0 that is very true. it all depends on your body type and frame. But the point for me is even focusing on size no matter what…it should be about healthy —- if the ad had talked about body fat percentages, blood pressure and say cholesterol I wouldn't be nearly as disturbed.

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