As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of the media coverage I see about yoga is from local or small papers (and, of course, plenty of blogs). So I always think it’s a big noteworthy when a larger, more mainstream outlet highlights yoga.
Today’s bigger story is from the Boston Globe, the bigger of that city’s two papers. Of course, maybe we can argue whether it actually covers “yoga.” Because the subject matter is …
Now, I suppose first I should say: Yeah, I wish I’d thought of that. Maybe the next big thing will be my idea. Anyway…
Despite my knee-jerk reaction, the founders of Broga insist they aren’t going “yoga-lite.” Here’s 41-year-old co-founder Robert Sidoti:
“This is not a dumbed down version of yoga. There’s a lot of movement linking the postures, but adding push-ups and variations of squats. People see the name ‘Broga’ and they think it’s just a bunch of idiots. But there’s integrity.’’
Hammering this point home seems to be the thrust of the article. (I assume Sidoti and his partner, Adam O’Neill, are pretty stoked with how it came out.) Of course, one person’s “not dumbed down” might be someone else’s “removing all the yoga from yoga”:
Sanskrit terms are avoided as much as possible, and poses are carefully explained. “Broga offers a much more palatable introduction to yoga at a much more familiar level,’’ says O’Neill. “There aren’t a lot of esoteric yoga terms that are used. We move from the familiar to the unfamiliar.’’
Now, I understand there’s definitely a place for this. And I suppose one bottom line always comes down to: It’s better if more people are doing some kind of yoga than fewer are.
Right? Because, as I know first hand, even if there isn’t Sanskrit or other “yoga principles” involved, some of it might sneak through anyway. And I’m going to default to the categorical position that that is a good thing.
But “Broga,” along with all the other “-gas” out there — dogs, horses, paddleboards, etc. — does continue to cloud the meaning of what “yoga” is. I’m not even sure that “Hatha Yoga” is correct in most of these instances. Is it just the asanas? In these instances, it seems to be. But it feels like the naming genie is out of the bottle — can you imagine every yoga studio in the West replacing “yoga” with “asana,” as would probably be more correct. AsanaWorks — does it have the same ring?
Although “Hot Asana” kind of makes me giggle.
Posted by Steve