The love of makeovers is as American as deep-fried Oreos at a country fair. We celebrate the teacher turned self-made millionaire, the former convict turned master chef and the Red Sox after they finally won the World Series. We love novelty almost as much as we love the idea of something, anything, turning into something better.
But much like fried Oreos, sometimes that change can turn the original into something unrecognizable that shouldn’t be consumed at all.
In 2017, it is fair to say that yoga has become the American zeitgeist. Studies show that between 20-37 million Americans are practicing regularly. Undoubtedly, this huge surge in popularity is the concept of yoga in the past few decades.
Sure there is still your standard Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga class. But now there is prenatal yoga, yoga for children, and silent yoga for those who want an enhanced meditative experience.
For the more athletic, there is boxing yoga and yoga for martial arts. For more adventurous, there are other more niche styles of yoga. Such as oguing yoga, amba yoga, rap yoga, stiletto yoga and the ultimate—Polga (Pole dancing and yoga).
In fact, here is an experiment type the word yoga and any noun you can think of into a search engine. More likely than not, there will be a class for that.
This isn’t altogether a bad thing. “People need yoga…” says Tara Stiles. founder of Strala, a fusion Tai Chi and yoga company. Fonda claims that Stiles makes yoga more and less “esoteric”. Stiles, by the way, is a thin, white, beautiful former model who gained popularity through her Youtube channel.
As the perfect oppositional counterpart to Strala, there is DDP Yoga. Named for its founder, Diamond Dallas Page, a former professional wrestler. DDP Yoga was originally conceived as Yoga for Regular Guys. Throughout his televised run, Page claims that he was formerly the type of guy who wouldn’t be caught dead doing yoga now professes that his method is different. “not your mamma’s yoga.”
Both styles embrace the physicality but reject the stereotypes that have been arbitrarily forced prior. Ironically, DDP rejects the style that Strala represents: feminine and upscale. Strala rejects the philosophical aspect of yoga. Both forms clearly rebel against the New Age/Hippie/Granola vibe that has haunted yoga since the 60s. Both transformed yoga into another form of weight loss program.
With these styles, students don’t get a chance to stretch their minds past stereotypes and extend into uncomfortable space.
These forms of “yoga” have been dipped into the batter of marketing, deep-fried in capitalism and served to the hungry masses as something familiar—yet brand new