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Yoga Manifesto: Tom Lee on the Commodification of Yoga

Yoga Off the Mat Shares His "Yoga Manifesto"

Here's an excerpt of what OnSugar blogger Tom Le from yoga off the mat has to say about the money-making side of the yoga industry.

Recently a friend of mine forwarded a recent New York Times article called A Yoga Manifesto. You can read it yourself, but I can sum it up for you by saying that it's about the commodification of the yoga industry and how a few grassroots pioneers are opening studios that move away from that idea.

I can't help but support the new wave of non-capitalistic yoga. I practiced with Rusty Wells for many years, and his new studio in the Mission, Urban Flow, is a great example of how a studio can be about YOGA . . . and nothing else (well, except a big fat yoga scene).


However, I thought long and hard about this article and have to play devil's advocate for a bit. There are two sides to every story, of course. And, as most of my friends will tell you, I am very opinionated!

The article talked about how yoga has become big business. A 2008 poll commissioned by Yoga Journal magazine concluded that yoga is now a $5.7 billion dollar industry (which, for those of you cynics, means millions of jobs have been created in the yoga industry).

The article also shed a negative light on Lululemon (a successful company that makes high-end yoga clothes), Manduka (manufacturer of a high-end yoga mat that costs about $100), yoga studios that charge $20 per class, and well-known "celebrity " teachers like Rodney Yee, Baron Baptiste, David Life, and Sharon Gannon.

To find out Tom's response to the NYT article and what he really thinks of Lululemon, high-priced yoga studios, and Manduka, check out yoga off the mat. And why not start your own OnSugar blog? Your posts could be featured here on FitSugar.

Join The Conversation
tiniertina tiniertina 6 years
I am now a member of this website. Why? I got depressed every time I used to go onto Facebook. So now I can give a real comment. I have finally come to the point that I am living my yoga. It happened spontaneously after years of practice, soon to be 3 and a half years, mostly at home; and mostly I started to practice more frequently. The yoga studio I go to currently is a non-profit and they do not care one way or the other; my practice comes from me; but in particular, this yoga studio encourages their students to have a home practice - maybe not so supplementary of class instruction as mine is, but they do. I think their secret is that they branch out into many other things and their profit center is healing rather than teacher training (the new thrust of commercialized yoga today). I don't shun brands entirely ... I might take a very occasional class at a commercial studio whose founder is big in home practice media circles, or at a studio that specializes in "affordable yoga", bearing in mind to not push myself insofar as they don't specialize in a slightly softer practice ...
Kword55 Kword55 7 years
Thank you Tom, what an intelligent and witty article. I too love LuLeLemon and don't want to feel ashamed of that. Luckily the corporate world melts away when I enter the yoga studio and that is what the practice is all about to me.
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