New York Times reporter Kate Bates wrote a telling piece about the Manhattan yoga scene titled “Yoga, Unlike Fashion, Is Deep. Right?

Bates discusses in part controversial yoga guru Eddie Stern.

Stern has a studio in lower Manhattan and has taught Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Christy Turlington. He has his critics though. Classes at the Broom St. studio are tough, structured and what Bates calls “boot camp yoga.”

The NY Times writer offered some interesting observations. She refers to yoga as “a spiritual discipline…not known for logical rigor.” And says this “secretive, exclusive ritual” has a “whole change-your-life fervor…where you feel that a new identity can be precipitated.”

Wait a minute, this sounds like religion. Whatever happened to just being focused on shedding pounds and making muscle, instead of some “spiritual” “ritual” to “change your life”?

But Bates says, “the doctrines of yoga might be aimed at the conquest of the self.”


And “the practice of getting there” is suffused with a “feeling of belonging, of believing for a moment that you are fresh and new and recreated.”


This exercise practice seems to have another agenda. Is it about getting in shape, or reshaping your mind?

Warning. If you are not interested in consciousness raising regarding some new “spiritual” awareness, but instead just want to raise a good sweat, maybe the local gym is a better choice than some yoga classes.

It appears that many yoga enthusiasts are gathering around gurus and learning more than healthy exercise.


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