Cowgirl Commentary on Yoga Sensationalism

In the latest yoga news, yoga something-or-the-other (celeb?
model? Or as she calls herself, “rebel”?) Tara Stiles is promoting her new
program for W hotels by cruising around NYC in a glass box on wheels, all the
better for people to gawk at her doing yoga.
Geez. I could say something a lot stronger, but this was the
first thing that came out. As a former member of the beauty and fashion
brigade, I must say that I am glad I got out of NYC. When things like this
happen, I often recall hours on end in L’Oreal meeting rooms taking makeup very
seriously. I can just imagine the marketing hipsters clustered around the W
Hotels conference room table, coming up with this edgy new idea – “Hey! Let’s
put Tara Stiles in a glass box and drive her around while she does yoga for all
to see!” Geez, geez, geez.
YogaDork also employs “geez” in reaction to the latest Tara
Stiles yoga news, in the ever-witty and spot on blog post Tara Stiles Does Yoga in a Glass Box on Wheels to Promote New ‘Glamorous,’ ‘Nontraditional’ Yoga Program. That headline is more than enough to make you shift expressions from
geez to, WTF??
This begs the question: what exactly is this promoting? ”Nontraditional”,
“Glamorous” yoga…? (Cue my visual of W Marketing group brainstorming new yoga
frontiers, where no yogi has gone before.) It’s their new “FIT
with Tara Stiles”
program, defined as: In
partnership with the industry’s yoga rebel, FIT with Tara Stiles flips the
traditional idea of fitness on its head with a non-traditional approach to
working out while on the road. Comprised of a curated in-room workout video
designed for the needs of the W traveler, in-room tip cards with quick fixes to
get camera-ready in a flash, and an exclusive series of intimate FIT with Tara
Stiles packages available at some of the most glamorous W Retreats around the
world, the program allows guests to polish their body and mindset in a uniquely
W way.

“Camera-ready in a flash”? You mean, for said W guest’s next
yoga selfie? Says W Global Brand Leader: The
W guest has a true ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality and wants to look fabulous
yet have fun while getting fit.
Barf. That sentence brings to mind 80’s
aerobics, not yoga.
I may be accused (been there, done that) of yoga
sensationalism – I mean, yoga + horses?? “Cowgirl Yoga”? Geez/WTF! There have
been and will continue to be many purists who scoff at what I do. And no, I
don’t do yoga in cowgirl boots, but it sure made for a fun picture.
Innovation and creativity are part of the process of keeping a business
alive and well. And fun, I might add. And of course yoga itself should be
fun. In a certain sense of the word. But not sure it’s the kind of fun pictured
in the W Hotel’s recent Instagram post, accompanied by the
caption: “Morning yoga with @TaraStiles at @whotelsnyc.” Morning yoga with high heels
and Veuve Clicquot?? I guess you could call that non-traditional, fer sure. Does
a “yoga rebel” drink champagne while doing bridge pose in high heels on a hotel
Let’s be honest: this is a fairly
lame attempt to glamorize an in-room yoga offering at a hotel. Which, even at
the W, isn’t very glamorous, IMHO.
Thoughts…? Do tell.