The yoga-sphere (is that a word?) is all up in arms today about Fox News interviewing some cowboy-shirt-wearing motivational speaker and claiming yoga is part of a trend that is wussifying America. Most of that sentence should be pretty eye roll-worthy already. So I decided to watch the video myself.
I wasn’t as angry about the cowboy guy as everyone else seems to be. He said a lot of wonderful things about yoga and its benefits. I even see his point about the importance of sports, camaraderie, competition and learning to be a good loser. I’m all for team sports, and I’m also all for yoga.
But why must he insult yoga to say it’s not enough? Shouldn’t we be happy that kids who practice yoga aren’t sitting on their butts and actually moving? And if a sport that involves a ball isn’t their thing, they can still learn how to work as a team in other activities and learn how to compete. Academic Decathlon, Debate Team and Science Olympiad come to mind. Oh, he might call them nerds. We wouldn’t want that. 😉
His reference to yogis as “yoga nazis” wasn’t very nice though. Just like it’s not nice to call football fans thick-headed, fat, beer-guzzling neanderthals (oh, did I say that out loud?). I’m not sure where he decided to come up with using the N word when he then also criticizes yoga for wussification. These seem to have completely opposite definitions to me.
In any case, Mr. Cowboy played right into his own stereotypes by making the assumption that yoga is all about the yin side. Every friend who I have introduced to ashtanga and vinyasa is surprised by how physically challenging it can be. I know more people who are SCARED of yoga and let their fear of not being fit enough stop them from trying it.
He’s even quoted in True West magazine saying,
I am one of those guys who needs to try it, screw up and experience some pain for me to really learn the lesson.
I wish all these silly arguments against yoga would go away. If it works for one person, great. If it’s not their cup of tea, then so be it. If he feels America is being emasculated by practicing yoga, then maybe he should take a page from his own book and “Grow a Pair”. Try all forms of yoga. Experience the pain (er… “edge”… safely though under the watchful eye of a trained teacher). Bullying people to behave and think the way he does is not productive.
I won’t even comment on the hosts of Fox & Friends. I’m not falling for that trick!