Presenting…Yoga Teacher Barbie!

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 11, 2012
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…complete with Chihuahua.

(and sorry about the packaging).

Oh, Patanjali, you must be so proud:


“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” ~ Bradley Miller

In other words, what we learn when we’re children matters. And we learn through play.


For more: do toys teach children about gender?

And, Every Body gets Old—even Barbie.

Don’t forget the rather welcome:

Finally: a Barbie Doll with Average Proportions!


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & 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. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


46 Responses to “Presenting…Yoga Teacher Barbie!”

  1. jackie says:

    That's it. The END is finally here.

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Hah. Teaching little girls that yoga is a viable career? While not a fan of Barbieism…this one's hard to dislike (though I knee-jerked against it), I think?

    Just wish Mattel would stop using rainforest trees for packaging.

  3. is it just me is barbie more proportional than before?

    and this is totally unrealistic…not enough tattoos and piercings ;p

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Is that the official dog breed of yoga or something?

    Lauren Medeiros
    Oh lordy. Ok, I'm a little torn on this one. I think it's good that this will expose little kids to yoga, but just that it's Barrrrrbie! Who also has impossible measurements for a woman's body. And, well, I guess I like to think of yoga as …a refuge from that unhealthy body image in society. So to see these two sides cross paths is actually a good lesson for me. A lesson to let go, because I can't control how yoga is used or presented in the world. I think it would be selfish of me to think I could! The yoga world is big enough for Barbie to be a teacher too. I just might not take her class 🙂

  5. Zeus the Chihuahua says:

    On behalf of us chihuahua's! We accept and embrace the title of official dog breed of the yogi.

  6. baikailin says:

    When I have children I won't forbid them to play with Barbies, that will only make them more interested. But whether my children are boys or girls, I'm going to make sure they have a range of toys to play with and make sure they can keep themselves entertained with their imagination as well. A blanket for a cape and two sticks for swords should entertain for at least an hour (or until an eye is put out).

  7. baikailin says:

    The packaging is pretty bad if you just see it as packaging, but recently I was sorting through boxes of toys that had been stored away 20 years ago. My sister and I kept a good part of the packaging when we got toys that were packaged like this one and used them as part of the play. (How does this packaging compare to the cost and environmental impact of creating a plastic, Barbie "Yoga Studio"?)

  8. baikailin says:

    A few years back they redid her proportions. Have there been more changes since then?

  9. baikailin says:

    So for chihuahuas it is to the gym for yoga, and then off to Taco Bell for a snack?

  10. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Culture, Funny, Yoga & Family.

  11. Karen says:


  12. chrissy says:

    Not going to lie, love the fact the chihuahua is on downward dog pose.

  13. Adrienne says:

    This just shows how mainstream Yoga has become. Unfortunately, sometimes it is not taught in a holistic fashion the way Patanjali had meant it to be studied.

  14. Is there a string you can pull to make her say manifesting, sacred, or some sanskrit word she barely understands? 😉

  15. Michelle says:

    What is it with everyone and being so against Barbie? It's a doll, it's to help with imagination and I like them. I played with them when i was little and I loved it! Stop blaming toys for putting ideals in peoples heads. No one says anything about GI Joe, leggos, or stuffed teddy bears. I think its a great idea to expose children to yoga and it's fun. When they ask questions, just answer them honestly and tell them the truth about yoga so they will understand. Plain and simple.

  16. Candice Garrett says:

    Her neck is too long, her head too big and doggie is is flying out of her ass. She needs some malas, some tattoos and a large book on anatomy, possibly a harmonium. FACT: to have barbie's waistline, you would have to have your two lower ribs removed.

  17. Candice Garrett says:

    okay, so the tattoos are optional, just a preferance.

  18. flutter shy says:

    Mattel has you covered: tattoo barbie… and indian barbie… or indian princess barbie… plus some of that glitter you've got flowing through your consciousness for a bindi, your own real yogini

  19. Ben_Ralston says:

    Ha. There should be 🙂

  20. cathy says:

    ok, so the execs discovered that yoga sells..

    I'm still working on my Starbucks yogic wheat grass latte copywrite.. and when its approved- I'll be flying around to all the cool yoga events, sprinkling my 'open your heart' and 'manifest from your soul" phrases while getting henna-ed and wearing my uber-hip second hand yoga pants and Sports Authority yoga tops, taking buses, not cabs or rented cars and sleeping on the lawn, not in the 200/nt hotels.

  21. Erby says:

    Okay, so how do WE know that the other Barbies aren't yoga teachers too? Just sayin'….not all of us wear our yoga pants in public! ; )

  22. I have no idea…I haven't looked at a barbie for eons…I just realized this one didn't look impossible and that made me happy!

  23. My chihuahua mix is definitely a yoga dog 🙂 I had no idea it was official though 😛

  24. actually I do say things about GI Joe's 😛 but I love leggos now that's imagination!

  25. I had to look again … her neck is crazy long 😛 and I'm with you needs tattoos!

  26. Vision_Quest2 says:

    I made my old Glitter Hair Barbie (purchased for myself as an adult; never had the Barbie doll as a child) my unofficial yoga teacher avatar …

  27. yogasamurai says:

    Yo quiero Taco Bell!!! Maybe they could cross-brand?

  28. yogasamurai says:

    Don't forget your "bio-degradable" yoga mat.

  29. yogasamurai says:

    You couldn't make this shit up. Five years ago, no one would have believed this level of commercial "permutation" would be possible.

    Now that the Pentagon has so full embraced yoga for war-training and war-fighting purposes, it's only a matter of time before we see a new "Yoga Tank"! Named "Shiva"? Or maybe matching weaponry named "Shakti and Shiva." Don't
    laugh. It's inevitable.

    During the Vietnam War, the army renamed one of its most awesome killing machines – the mounted C-47 gunship – "Puff the Magic Dragon."

    Yoga, as it's been spun out in American, is the perfect commercial cover for…..EVERYTHING. You name it, it's yoga right? Because after all, yoga is for everyone?

    Congratulations, Ladies!

  30. yogasamurai says:

    This year's yogini feminist agenda: Demanding that Ken do yoga, too! Waaaaaa…..

    The company should start an online blog….Should Ken do yoga, too? Could be a clever marketing tool.

  31. A lesson to let go, because I can't control how yoga is used or presented in the world. I think it would be selfish of me to think I could! The yoga world is big enough for Barbie to be a teacher too. I just might not take her class 🙂

  32. yogasamurai says:

    Of course, you can, if you have a yoga trade association that has any balls, and that rides herd on its own marketers, and that stigmatizes those who transgress.

    That association would issue press releases condemning companies for putting out these insulting toys and suggesting that they recall them – or you will boycott them.

    The commercialization of yoga is a reflection of a yoga market that is dominated by affluent white women who are born to shop, and of celebrity teachers intent on promoting themselves as feminine beauty icons. It derives directly from this ethos, and from the yoga community's complete inability – and craven unwillingess – to regulate itself.

    If there weren't a Budig — there wouldn't be a Barbie, and frankly, if Budig wants to do something useful for a change – she might issue a statement about Yoga Barbie. It would have a big impact.

    Reign your grifters in – stigmatize them as a community – and all of this will cease. But you have to grow a pair, and stop making excuses for everyone under the guise of "letting go."


  33. yogasamurai says:

    Didn't Kathryn Budig do just that? And I'm quite sure that Chihuahua is a refugee from her PAWS campaign.

  34. yogasamurai says:

    "Daddie, why is that girl doing all that weird exercise with her little dog?"

    "Sweetie, because she doesn't have a brain in her head, and she's selling her body just like women have for centuries. She doesn't know how to meditate like your mother and I taught you, and she's hoping the boys
    will find her sexy and fun – instead of intelligent and sensitive like you.

    Just because it's in the supermarket, doesn't mean it's good for you. There are a lot of companies that sell products that aren't good for you. Remember that white vanilla candy bar we bought you that made you so sick? Well, imagine eating 10 of them at the same time.

  35. Val says:

    frankly.. no comment…kali yuga

  36. Vision_Quest2 says:

    I think – if there weren't a Budig, there wouldn't be a Tara Stiles …

    The target yoga population the red-hot, vaunted ages 25 to 40, are the least likely to be playing with/collecting dolls, IMHO …

    But the cultural body image sickness still reverberates …

  37. Vision_Quest2 says:

    The real kali yuga could be when the preschoolers start doing yoga instead of actually building things with blocks …
    Thanks a lot, Barbie …

    The United States used to be a creative country ….

  38. yogasamurai says:

    In marketing you use the kids to compel their mothers to buy. You even put the goods in the store at kids-eye level, if you can, so they say Mommie I want this, and won't shut up until Mom says yes!

    What I find interesting here also is the decision to only market the dolls in Target stores, which tend to reach a lower-to-lower middle income demographic. The whole Barbie concept may not be doing so well in the more upscale stores with more upscale demographics. And the women shopping there are more likely to actually be practicing yoga, so you'd be possibly running into shopper distress with the product.

    We see this a lot – dump a potentially objectionable product in a "down-scale" market. Just speculating here. At this point, marketers in the mainstream are trying to exploit the yoga concept whenever and wherever they can. All the mass market clothing retailers, Gap, Nordstrom, etc. are going after the yoga market, too. Somebody even came up with "yoga" potato chips.

    It's the rage – "lifestyle" or "conceptual" marketing. You take an appealing "value" – yoga – and try to associate it with more and more consumer products, whether there is any real connection to the original value at all. Gap once did this with Hip Hop.

  39. yogasamurai says:

    Once you go down the road of commercialization — with these oh-so-innocent sounding arguments like, "What's wrong with making a living as a yoga teacher?" you set yourself up for a real marketing maelstrom. It would take a highly disciplined, and truly spiritually based yoga movement to even pretend to resist these inexorable pressures, and we simply don't have that. Just the opposite.

    All of the self-proclaimed leaders and faux celebrities in the yoga world are totally into themselves – and they just want you along for the ride. And if you're stupid, craven, and weak, you may actually convince yourself that you are becoming hip and cool and personally "transformed" just by associating with them? You know, just like in High School.

  40. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Please don't get me started on all the Body by Bethenny yoga dvds I see for sale at Target.

    Actually, Target is Wal-Mart for yuppies. At least in NYC. Wal-mart gets blocked from locating in the New York City city limits due to a lot of union influence/protests. So Target manages to not be so downscale over here …

    Wasn't this video shot at a Target?

  41. Vision_Quest2 says:

    These yoga teachers were not the 'cool kids" in high school. They pander to SOME of the cool kids.

    They had been the drama club wonks.

    Kissing the prom queen's butt.

  42. yogasamurai says:

    Here it's a bit different. In Washington, DC, we have ONE big magnet Target store in the redeveloping, "in transition" Columbia Heights neighborhood, which was once massively Latino and Black, and is now highly diverse, and an up and coming shopping mecca of sorts.

    So, in a sense, you're right, here, too, it's a gentrifying neighborhood, but it's still still very "downscale" over all. No one with "real" money would shop at this Target. These are more like wannabe yuppies — at best, people just getting started who can't afford Cleveland Park or Georgetown, or who just want to ID with being closer to the 'hood.

  43. yogasamurai says:

    I can't wait to go by to see if our Target has the new Yoga Barbie! I was thinking it might make for a really cool hood ornament? What do you think? (I could put the dog on the roof. Arf!).

    Who knows, maybe "Yoga Barbie" will soon enter the lexicon — a bit like "Caribou Barbie" has in the case of Sarah Palin?

  44. […] to make waves or speak words that might make someone else uncomfortable because it was not pretty like Barbie. I was too young to have breasts and high heels, but when the day came that I would have these […]

  45. TheRamblista says:

    "If there weren't a Budig — there wouldn't be a Barbie, and frankly, if Budig wants to do something useful for a change – she might issue a statement about Yoga Barbie. It would have a big impact. "

    Wow. Yes, it's all Kathryn Budig's fault. That's quite the slippery slope, don't you think?

    Namaste, indeed.

  46. Zellie says:

    what is she wearing?