We love yoga. We do it 5-6 times a week, and by far our most transformative, euphoric experiences (outside of the bedroom) have occurred on the mat. Through yoga, we've overcome our two greatest fears: falling on our heads and farting in public. But at some point in the last few years, this ancient Indian spiritual practice has morphed into something all-together ridiculous -- and we're not even talking about those videos involving Jennifer Aniston's "yoga" abs. Since the first step of moving on is admitting we have a problem, we are enlightening you on the six most vexing yoga fads we've come across, so that we might burnish them from our minds, studios, and bank accounts.
6. Paddle Board Yoga
Paddle board yoga is exactly what it sounds like: Doing yoga poses while on a paddle board in the water. The idea behind this genius practice is that it's hard to maintain your balance on a paddle board while floating in the mf'ing ocean, and therefore you'll get more of a core workout. The phrase "staying grounded" is not just a hippie cliche. Being physically connected to the ground is important not solely so you don't fall on your ass (or in the ocean), it also draws on the physics concept we learned in 11th grade about every action having an equal yet opposite reaction. When your muscles push into the floor, even if just while standing, the floor pushes back. Gravity is here to help, not hinder you. Like its practitioners, we hope this trend drifts out to sea, never to return.
5. Karaoke Yoga
Oh, Los Angeles. We don't know how San Francisco got the freak reputation in California while you got off scot-free. But, no matter. Karaoke yoga was invented by L.A.-based yoga instructor Jennifer Pastiloff, and is a "one-hour 'joy-based' yoga-singing class." Despite the promise of joy, Pastiloff says that people often cry in her classes, especially when she plays the Beatles. She also notes that karaoke yoga is not about "alignment" or "singing well" but about "connecting and letting your inner light shine" and "being your most authentic you." Our most authentic self does enjoy wearing spandex and crying to Adele songs, so maybe she's onto something.
4. Yoga for Dogs, aka Doga
This has been a trend for a while -- it even got a New York Times nod in 2009. According to the article, doga "combines massage and meditation with gentle stretching for dogs and their human partners." This makes us uncomfortable on a lot of levels, and we're not even going to broach the bestiality-lite that entails massaging your pooch. First of all, your dog doesn't need to meditate. It's a dog! Eating and shitting are the only thing on your dog's "spiritual" agenda. Second of all, your dog's not just going to effortlessly lotus the day away with you. It's a dog! As one woman put it, "Peanuts, my retired racer greyhound, didn't participate at all. Instead, I did downward-facing dog while he ate the most treats he's ever had in a 60-minute period."
Included in this amazing fad are a whole line of ridiculous yoga toys FOR YOUR DOG, like squeaky Om Balls decorated with Sanskrit, Shanti sticks, and a floor pillow repurposed as a "lotus bed." For a faster and just as effective approach to your pet's enlightenment, you can also take all your money out on your paddle board and throw it in the sea. Wait, we have a better idea. It just came to us, through the glittering light of Lord Ganesha. You can bond and exercise with your pet by putting one leg in front of the other in a gently forward motion, colloquially known as walking. This activity, which we're calling Petercise, will cost you $45 a session, and includes an instructional DVD of us laughing in your face.