Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scantily clad yoga teacher riles purists (Telegraph)

It wasn’t all Namaste at the world’s biggest yoga festival in India last week, after a rift developed between purists and Shiva Rea, a pretty blond Southern Californian yogini famous for her skimpy outfits, sessions with Madonna, and suggestively writhing “trance dances.”
A yoga teacher (not Shiva Rea) leads students at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, India, on March 2, 2011 (photo by Getty)

The Telegraph reported that some traditionalists walked out on Rea during one of her free-form demonstrations.
The tension highlighted a growing conflict in the normally blissful yoga world, pitting old-school devotees against yoga innovators like Rea, who calls herself a “yogini firekeeper.”

“This is not yoga, it’s just a show, but to succeed in California, this is what they have to do,” yoga teacher Florian Palzinsky was quoted by AFP as griping at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh, India. The event wrapped up Monday.

The complaint echoed feelings about another famous yogic rebel, Tara Stiles, the author of the how-to book, “Slim Calm Sexy.” In January, Stiles was the subject of a New York Times profile that included a lot of karmic rage against her – and the distillation of an ancient practice into pop culture, complete with an app called “Authentic Yoga” by Stiles and Deepak Chopra.

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