Are yoga publications the new tabloid?

Creative Commons License photo credit: fRandi-Shooters

Take a moment to think of all the times you’ve left a yoga class feeling blissful and relaxed.  Now imagine you are walking, floating, out the studio doors and BAM! You are hit with flashing lights; people all around you are shoving cameras in your face and screaming for your attention.

Why are they doing this to you?  You’re Lady Gaga, Matthew Mcconaughey, Jennifer Aniston, and any other celebrity who has been bombarded by paparazzi after or even while practicing yoga.  The paparazzi is relentless in their mission to capture a celebrity in their “natural habitat,” and these “journalists” are only half to blame.  A large population relentlessly consumes these images and stories of celebrities further encouraging the paparazzi to become more aggressive in order to obtain more content.

Via Waylon Lewis and Celebrity-Gossip

Now think of the times where you’ve left a yoga class feeling at peace with the world, and BAM! You’re boss left you an angry voicemail, you get stuck in traffic, or any situation that caused your breath to shallow and your muscles to tense.  Having your bliss-bubble burst isn’t exactly pleasant, is it?

Many of us claim to practice ahimsa, or non-violence. We choose not to kill animals for food, we consciously purchase from companies who do not exploit their workers, and we avoid using products that harm the environment.  Yet we find entertainment in the exploitation of a celebrity’s yoga practice.  I’ve noticed many popular yoga publications are just as thirsty for celebrity gossip as the common tabloid.

Via OK Magazine

Via YogaDork

Celebrities are often treated more like circus animals than human beings.

Yes, the market for celebrity gossip exists, and coverage will probably continue despite any harm it may cause celebrities. But my question for the yoga community is this: Why do we support this stalking of individuals based on some meaningless celebrity status?

I’ve heard the argument that these people chose a life of celebrity, and they “knew” what they were “signing up for.”  But when Patanjali suggested the practice of ahimsa he didn’t go on to say:  “except to those who have a lot of money and fame.”

When we publish or consume content about a celebrity’s yoga practice, are we exploiting, even harming individuals’ right to privacy and personal tranquility?

Posted by:

- who has written 21 posts on Yoga Modern.

Patience Steltzer is the Assistant Editor for the World Affairs Current at Yoga Modern. She spends her time drawing, painting, sewing, writing, and practicing/teaching yoga in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. After a lifetime of having no idea what to do with her creativity and energy, she discovered yoga allowed her to find the beauty and excitement in stillness. Since then, she has dedicated herself to sharing her love of yoga with others to help them find the joy she has.

7 Responses

  • I have a visceral reaction to the Lady Gag photo. There is nothing outside of the mat that indicates she is practicing yoga or even understands the concept. I'm not surprised at this given the rock star celeb nature Western yoga is trending towards. The next logical progression would be pseudo-yogi pop stars. Thank Mr. Bikram.

  • Jessica says:

    If we think yoga has just turned "trendy…" think again. We are experiencing the mushroom of the trend now and to be honest, that is why publications like Yoga Modern and Where is My Guru stand a chance. We have an opportunity to report, write, share (whatever makes you feel like you are not wanting to get a piece of the economic yoga pie) with mindfulness and thoughtfulness and as you said Patience, ahimsa. But also, satya (truth).
    Thanks for another great article.

  • Thank ya'll for your comments! I am really feeling that the popularity of yoga is bittersweet on one hand I want EVERYONE rich or poor to have a piece of the pie, but on the other hand I want to the tradition to receive the respect it deserves. Do you think that's possible? Can yoga be popular or "trendy" and still be rooted in tradition?

  • Stay says:

    i am wondering which “popular yoga magazine ” is being referred to here?
    If you are going to accuse at least state your source?!
    I read a couple ” popular yoga magazines and haven’t seem any tabloidesk articles!

    • mindbodyspiritwithpatience says:

      I have cited many popular yoga publications through out the article. If you can't access the hyperlinks let me know and I will be happy to repost them in a comment.