“Yoga Master.” {reminds of Equinox video}

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 28, 2012
get elephant's newsletter

Correction: first of all, this video is awesome, and I shared it because it’s beautiful. Secondly, the criticism below was of the term “master” being applied to asana, merely, not at all to David Regelin, the teacher below. Thirdly, I don’t know him, and honestly the below was not meant personally, except again to the extent that I was impressed, akin to the Equinox video.

I blogged this up over-hastily, and meant only to criticize the term “yoga master” which seems to get tossed around with Tara Stiles and other colleagues accepting that term. I think it’s misleading and conveys the idea that yoga is about incredible asana practice, which is not the whole truth.

I’ve commented below in response to David, who I have no reason to have anything but vague admiration for, at this point, and will hopefully be offered a generous opportunity to make this right. ~ Waylon, ed.

David Regelin:

Asana [does not equal] yoga. You can be buff and have cool tattoos, doesn’t mean you know squat about yoga. Still, it’s a good start:

And here’s the Equinox Yoga video, in case you somehow missed it.


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 | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


21 Responses to ““Yoga Master.” {reminds of Equinox video}”

  1. […] Well, ladies, if you came wanting to see hottie yoga, can’t leave you disappointed. […]

  2. david regelin says:

    Hi Waylon,
    I'm not sure what compelled you to make that statement about me. Having a blog does not mean you know anything about yoga either.

  3. Vision_Quest2 says:

    This is the Iyengar master teacher?

    [Maybe this had been from the archives … ]

    Those Iyengar dudes are out to make a buck also … At least there's no setting/story/undercurrent (underwear) like with the upscale gym's one … and the tats show some spirituality–and some life other than the sensual, mainstream and materialistic …

  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Well, I would have been more impressed if he were in his undies. 😉

  5. david regelin says:

    Hi, I am not an Iyengar teacher. It is true that I am trying to make a living.

  6. __MikeG__ says:

    The alignment in the poses is not not Iyengar style. I have nothing against knowledgeable yoga teachers making a living.

  7. __MikeG__ says:

    I'm posting in my undies. Impressed now?

  8. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Double negative, means it IS …

    I appreciate an alignment-oriented style … never studied Iyengar, though … but the Himalayan Masters style …(very mild style, though) … never found out if they've ever used ropes and such …

    This guy probably actually teaches some tough vinyasa …

  9. jbnorton says:

    Does having a beautiful asana practice preclude knowing more than squat about yoga?

  10. Vision_Quest2 says:

    This is the only "extreme yoga" video I keep coming back to because I could just tell the mindfulness (and deep knowledge of yoga) behind the actor's moves, never mind the music …

    No underwear, no hype … and if "power yoga" laid its finishing touches on this practitioner, it would not hurt to see more of this …

  11. Tea says:

    For all of these super-yogi-videos, I find, that my body feels the freedom of their freedom, their movements, that wonderful space that comes with opening and strengthening echoes through the screen. I think it's beautiful. Yes, David is also a beautiful man, but first and foremost he is human.

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Wow, David, we have a miscommunication. This goes back to the Equinox video. I'm not saying you know anything about yoga, or don't. I'm trying to say that looking handsome (which you do) and looking cool (which you do) and being amazing at asana (which you are) practice doesn't mean you're a "yoga master." I doubt very much you would disagree with me on that.

    It wasn't meant as personal—though my clumsy blog made it sound such—I fully apologize. I'm sure you do know about and care about the heart of yoga—trying to be of benefit, still the waves of the mind, open your heart up, come back to the present, practice and in your case teach proper safe alignment, breath, drishti.

    Again, apologies. If you email me at [email protected] I'll set this right personally however I can.

  13. elephantjournal says:

    And we're all for that. We often blog on making a living, yoga as a meaningful profession…as Deepak Chopra said when I asked him about accusations of being a spiritual salesman, "isn't it better to make your living selling peace and compassion than guns and bombs?" I agreed.

  14. elephantjournal says:

    Well, because we're in America, MTV culture is not PBS culture, and David is incredibly physically hot (god bless 'im, check all the loving comments when we posted this up on social media) and many folks, looking at this, will think "yoga master" means to be fit and cool. Which it doesn't. That was my (clumsy) point—that yoga isn't just about the surface. That said, David has an impressive practice and he is fit and stylish and I got zero problem with that!

  15. elephantjournal says:


  16. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Nothing wrong with living in the head. If the brain goes, what could the heart reasonably do … except be transplanted …

  17. elephantjournal says:

    "Don't judge, you should lighten up, you're so uptight!" http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/11/new-agey-t

    That said, yes: lighten up is allllways a good reminder. Sincerely, thanks. ~ Waylon

  18. Yogini says:

    I'm amazed at how difficult it is to explain that the goal of yoga is to reach samadhi not to do difficult poses. There is no conflict that I can see here in this forum from the yogis. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing what the human body is capable of . There is nothing more satisfying than being able to do difficult poses too (for the ego especially!). But the asana practice is essentially done to prepare the mind and body for meditation whereupon the the possibility of merging with the Divine can occur.

  19. We'd need proof. Can you do a Mikequinox video?

  20. Natalie Baginski says:

    if david meditates and studies vedanta and cares at all about his spiritual Self and is working toward a higher level of consciousness (which it sounds like he is) then he has done nothing to justify the amount of criticism he's getting because he is actually practicing yoga.

    since everyone is submitting their opinions i will submit mine: anyone who practices asana but doesn't have a meditation practice should not be invited to talk about 'yoga' at all online or in person. (yikes!)

    david, you're awesome. if you post an hour-long video of yourself doing your meditation i will do the same. and we should do it in our underwear.