Once Christy Turlington appeared to be primarily concerned with her modeling career, but now it seems the “Supermodel” has become increasingly focused on other pursuits—such as her practice of yoga.
In her new book “Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice” Turlington touts her yoga lifestyle. She has also launched a yoga clothing line.
The message seems to be—if want to look like Christy, do yoga like Christy. And for a nation increasingly inhabited by overweight people, the United States seems posed to embrace such advice.
However, there is more to Turlington’s book than just that.
Most Americans who initially become involved in yoga simply want to get in shape. But Turlington’s book isn’t just about healthy exercise; it’s also concerned with reshaping your mind or consciousness. And the fashion diva’s thinking seems to have been influenced by some pretty controversial “gurus.”
Christy Turlington’s personal odyssey in yoga apparently has included a few groups called “cults.”
The Supermodel cites 3HO, “Siddha Meditation” and “Integral Yoga International” (IYI) positively within “Living Yoga.” However, these three groups share more than the practice of yoga in common. All three have been called “cults” and have a history of abuse claims made by former members, which has included sexual exploitation.
“Yogi Bhajan” who founded and still leads 3HO, settled a lawsuit with a former secretary rather than go to court over her abuse claims. Supposedly celibate “Swami Satchidananda,” the now deceased creator of IYI, weathered a sex scandal in the early 90s. And some of Siddha’s late leader Muktananda’s former disciples also reported that he sexually abused them.
Christy Turlington’s latest teacher is Eddie Stern who runs a yoga studio in lower Manhattan. He isn’t a “cult leader,” but has generated some complaints and concern.
Ms. Turlington seems to have come through all these groups unscathed. But despite their histories, she offers no warnings or even a footnote within her book to would-be yoga buffs.
The Publisher’s Weekly review at Amazon.com says Christy Turlington’s book goes “beyond getting a nice butt” and that “there’s a lot to digest” within its pages. Maybe that’s an understatement.
Yoga still means firming up, not flipping out to most people. And readers might just choke on some of the groups and gurus Turlington includes in her eclectic yoga buffet.
One Turlington admirer at Amazon.com posted, “I look at Christy as a true role model.” Perhaps as a celebrity role model Turlington should be more prudent about who and what she promotes publicly.