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Who is the “EiEi Yoga” Farmer? Meet Max Thomas, aka “Yogi Oki Doki”

in YD News

Hey all, we received a surprise comment yesterday and felt compelled to share it with everyone in post form.

eiei-yogaYou wanna know who it was from? We imagine you haven’t forgotten the Hippie Yoga Farmer. Well guess what? It’s a real show with a real yogi named Max Thomas, a dedicated yog who’s been an integral part of the LA Yoga circuit for 30 years, and whose late 90’s kids show (“EiEi Yoga“) has been positively reviewed in Yoga Journal AND The New York Times (read). In our/your face!

Thankfully, and to our astonishment, Yogi Oki Doki’s wife and executive producer of “EiEi Yoga”, Robin Maxwell, has written in to YD to set us straight.

We truly appreciate Mrs. Maxwell providing us with the full lowdown on who, what, when…and for clearing up what we suspected to be true, yes kids DO love it. And we still think it’s OK to find it funny… or Oki Doki 🙂

Read on for the real story of “Yogi Oki Doki”and Robin’s unabridged comment below (original here).

ps. Anyone care to dig up the Yoga Journal article? nevermind, check out the reviews here and here. Thanks Google books search.

As co-creator and producer of EiEi Yoga, and proud wife of Yogi Oki Doki (you  may call me Mrs. Oki Doki) I would like to ask that somebody re-print Richard Rosen’s stellar Yoga Journal review of this video (1997) in which he unequivocally gave it “4 hooves up!”.  Yogi and Rasta the Rooster appeared on several national TV magazines, and the science and medical writer for the New York Times said “Yogi Oki Doki is a hero in my house.”

Max Thomas (a/k/a Yogi Oki Doki) is one of California’s most beloved and respected yoga teachers.  He was the director of the Center for Yoga in L.A. for four years in the early `80s before yoga became hip and ubiquitous.  He has taught teacher training courses at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, and in his own studios in L.A., Topanga and currently in Yucca Valley, CA.   He has worked gratis for HIV patients in West L.A., and for schizophrenic teenagers at UCLA Medical Center.  He was one of the first yoga teachers to acknowledge that if children were taught yoga we would be living in a much saner world.

Now, on a badly edited YouTube clip that has received close to a quarter of a million hits and 1,100 comments in 6 days  (“Weird Hippie Yoga Farmers”) Max has been derided in every way imaginable, called “creepy” and “a pedophile.”  One viewer referred to one of the beautiful children he was teaching as “that little n***.”  I know that the mental capacity of most of these people makes Fox News viewers seems like Rhodes Scholars, but it would be nice to see a little support from the yoga community for a fellow teacher, one who has dedicated the last 35 years of his life to bringing yoga to the world.

Perhaps you can go to the “everything is terrible site” and throw in a positive comment.

And yes, kids LOVE this video.


79 comments… add one
  • Anonymous

    Looks like Robin filed a DMCA complaint and got everythingisterrible’s youtube account shut down. Pathetic.

    • Bob

      That’s not pathetic. Assholes on YT were being evil and racist towards the innocent video and she was right to have it removed. What would you do if people were attacking YOUR loved ones and innocent kids? The only one whos pathetic is you and people like you.

      • Neko

        Uhm…Guys, with all, do respect, I don’t think that you two have the right to insult people for voicing their opinions, everyone who is talking here has equal rights so please, refrain from insulting people.

  • This is an amazing development! Of course there’s a person behind this, it’s just easy to forget. Now I kind of feel like a dink for finding the video so amusing and creepy…

  • holy and sweet and pure

    This is sad. Mrs. Maxwell seems to have a distorted view of the world.

    “I know that the mental capacity of most of these people makes Fox News viewers seems like Rhodes Scholars…”

    Petty insults and casting a whole segment of this wonderful world as lacking in “mental capacity”?

    As a liberal, yog, and more importantly, human being, it distresses me greatly to see Mrs. Maxwell take such an approach to a group of people who could clearly benefit from further understanding and enlightenment, not belittlement.

    You’d think that, as she took such offense to what these unenlightened few said in insult, she would shy away from such tactics herself.

    As my first teacher would have put it “A yog she is not”.

    • Cardionema

      Her statements are not as nasty as a lot of comments on this forum.

    • Bob

      Well they said even worse things about her husband and the kids. What should she have done?? What would you have done?? Probably insulted them back like anyone else would.

      • Robert

        That’s the thing, she didn’t insult them back. She insulted Fox News viewers. They weren’t the ones who commented on the video. She made a baseless accusation.

  • garth

    learn to take a damn joke, maxwell. what a dope.

  • Dan R

    Actually, the video was super creepy. SUPER CREEPY. But that’s my opinion.

    It’s really too bad that their youtube account had to be shut down because some people didn’t find it creepy.

  • jonny

    “As a liberal, yog, and more importantly, human being, it distresses me greatly to see Mrs. Maxwell take such an approach to a group of people who could clearly benefit from further understanding and enlightenment, not belittlement.” — holy and sweet and pure

    Bravo. Too bad Ms. Maxwell isn’t as gracious in her choice of words.

    • Cardionema

      She should be gracious toward people accusing her husband of being a pedophile because of a silly video that was obviously heavily edited? And as of yesterday, Everything Is Terrible’s YouTube site is in tact and just fine.

    • Cardionema

      Man, you yoga people are nasty! I thought you were supposed to be above that sort of thing.

  • katy jane

    I can’t believe that you think the proper response to a JOKE is to take this down from youtube. If you think you are the first and only person to be used for humor on that site, you are sorely mistaken.

    Just grow up, and learn to live with what life gives you.

  • EIT Lover

    Mrs. Oki Doki,

    Your husband is creepy. Very creepy. I’ve taken several yoga classes and not once have I ever met an instructor as unsettling as your husband. Way to sabotage an entire website just because they poked fun at your husband’s inherent creepiness.

  • Washington

    I’m wondering if Robin and contacted the EIT folks first directly to ask them to remove the video. It’s a shame that they had to have their entire account removed because of this.

  • Troll

    Me smell a troll here!

  • ollie

    Learn to take a joke for goodness sake. I’d suggest that if you have such a problem with sites such as EIT that you shouldnt your freaky husband in public, let alone the yoga. This comes part and parcel with being in the ‘public eye’, if you can be considered to be part of this at all.

  • Dave White

    That woman is in denial about her husband. If Michael Jackson had been caught on video doing that, he’d surely been thrown in prison.

  • from boulder and hate hippies

    well said holly sweet and pure. Not to mention, she brings up teaching schizophrenics and HIV patients like it’s trading currency for moral superiority, and in the end, promotes “everythingisterrrible.com” which is a website I have never heard of until she sites it here. Thus, accomplishing exactly their mindshare goal. In conclusion, she represents and validates everything I hate about yogas or yogis or hippies or yoga hippies: Some fake sence of righteousness and superiority that, through insecurities, they need to grasp to in order to falsely have a sense of ‘being better’ than other people.

  • from boulder and hate hippies

    I’d like to correct that i don’t hate yogas or yogis. hippies, surely. but I have plenty of friend that do a lot of yoga. not my thing but whatever. sorry for the defamation guys. but there are many that play that “more enlightened than you” card. and that’s where my hatred lies. hope to have apologies accepted.

  • Yoga Hippies Suck

    You yoga hippies are the scum of the earth. You fruit baskets had to claim copyright action over a video that reveals your creepy, pedophilic ways? Knob off to some hippie commune, you toss pots.

  • wow, YD, this post really struck a nerve. or two or three. wow.

    maybe he IS a nice guy, but the video still creeps me out. I will go with my gut on this one.

  • Yogi Bear

    As an independent who watches every biased new channel available to him, including Fox News, I can safely say that Robin Maxwell is a tightwad liberal yahoo whore who can’t take a joke or think of a proper insult or retort and likely has “impeach Bush” bumper stickers on her van as well as countless trendy Obama decals that show just how intelligent and unique she is.

  • admin

    Heyyy everyone. Appreciate all your comments and words. But this really isn’t the platform for bashing, as in youtube comments Part 2.
    It’s not our policy to delete or censor. If you’re going to continue with profanity or defamatory insults we ask you please continue with it in another forum. Thanks.

  • I’m a Mom. I’m 30 years old. I have years of experience that have made me jaded and paranoid. I was uncomfortable watching the video.

    My children 5 and 7 watched it before YouTube shut it down. They thought it was funny. “Like if Grandpa did Yoga.”

    I passed judgment; they didn’t.

    I commend Yoga Dork for continuing the conversation. Maybe the other forum should be on our mats contemplating loving kindness.

    The opposite of pretentious is still pretentious.

  • w Smith

    Great job spreading enlightenment yoga people. 100s of unrelated videos banned from youtube for no reason. A youtube channel with thousands of subscribes now gone.

  • admin

    Had about enough of the “you people” comments…or “yoga people” whatever. This site and YOGA had nothing to do with the take down of a youtube account. That shouldn’t be hard to comprehend.

  • nora

    I will refrain from nasty names and generalizations. I would just like to point out that Ms. Maxwell’s actions have singlehandedly destroyed years of hard work that a group of artists put into their website. Ms. Maxwell’s objection to one video spurred the cancellation of a subscription of videos that fed into an entire blog. The blog, everythingisterrible.com, provided interesting, challenging art and social commentary to thousands of people everyday. Ms. Maxwell’s outcry has undone, demolished and annihilated the hard work of a group of people who were running a website in the name of fun and good humor. It’s too bad that Ms. Maxwell didn’t consider the hard work of others while defending that of her husband’s. Destroying a website that provides joy to thousands is an inordinate punishment for providing a forum in which people call one’s husband “creepy.”

  • w Smith

    I don’t think you understand how youtube works admin. Entire accounts don’t get banned due to a single DMCA takedown. This happens when a mass of people false flag a channel with “offensive content” or some such. The people in that specific video had every right to have it taken down if they are the copyright holders – but this went beyond that. The same thing happens all the time when fundamentalist Christians on youtube flag channels they find offensive because they discuss science, evolution or skepticism. False flagging and censorship is destroying youtube, and this is yet another example

  • EIT

    As a member of EIT, I have to say I actually agree with Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell. It’s not ‘holier than thou’ to call out the animals who make those horrific YouTube comments. I wish I had the time to have edited those awful remarks since the point of it all was just to get a quick laugh at how silly the world of children’s programming can be. In the end all our site tries to do is celebrate the ridiculous and forgotten world of VHS- but sometimes it gets out of hand and the hateful comments get worse and worse. So for that I apologize.

    HOWEVER, someone could have simply asked us and we would have gladly taken the video down if anyone’s feelings were hurt. It’s going to be a huge pain in the ass to re-post our old work- but we cannot be stopped! Although this video will not be re-posted by us. That is a promise.


  • mornflame

    Everything Is Terrible is one of the best things on the internet. Mrs. Maxwell is terrible, for causing its account to be closed. 🙁

  • EIT

    Nora, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

  • kia

    I saw the writing on the walls with this video clip when it appeared on the gossip site d-listed. I have not actually seen the clip and don’t plan too. I think that it is justified that “Mrs. Oki Doki” wrote in to comment on the viral hoopla and to inform folks that her husband has a great deal of accolades that we may not know about.




  • holy and sweet and pure

    @ Y-F

    I sense a disturbance in the force.

  • As one of Max’s students I know he is the first person to laugh at himself. He teaches often as a crazy-wise adept and we all love that in the midst of the most challenging vinyasa he can get the entire room rolling with laughter. I’m impressed that his VHS madness was the latest internet hit. Unfortunately though, because it is a yoga video having to do with the body and also a children’s video, it was re-edited to hit people’s “pedophile” button and that is dangerous for him. What poor Yogi Oki Doki really suffered was an unwarranted virtual public stoning. You can’t blame his people for pulling him out of there, and being a little upset about it. Don’t worry Everythingisterrrible.com will be back with some other name. Everybody loves to laugh.

  • Bobbi

    Everyone be brave. Tale a few deep breaths and remember to love your life,and forgive others who trespass against us. Go to a charity website and donate some time and/or money and stop wasting time spewing negative stuff. It doesn’t help you at all. Do something for you life that will bring you happiness, by dong something good for others.
    I’m sorry
    Please forgve me
    I love you

  • from boulder and hate hippies

    Why wouldn’t she take this opportunity to market the tapes? i bet, if she was smart, she could have turned this into a massive sale. dumbass.

  • El Culo Soplado

    Um, no, it’s not cool self-deprecating humor from a cool yogi. It’s a big ropey turd on video tape. It’s so horrible I may never recover. Pinch off another one you veggie loaf.

  • robin maxwell

    Rasta Rooster is Racist.

    Maxwell and her pedophile husband should be shut down for that.

    Everything is Terrible didn’t sink as low as they did.

    Shut down Maxwell and Yogi Okie Pedo

  • Darling

    This is sad. Mrs. Maxwell seems to have a distorted view of the world.

    “I know that the mental capacity of most of these people makes Fox News viewers seems like Rhodes Scholars…”

    Petty insults and casting a whole segment of this wonderful world as lacking in “mental capacity”?

    As a liberal, yog, and more importantly, human being, it distresses me greatly to see Mrs. Maxwell take such an approach to a group of people who could clearly benefit from further understanding and enlightenment, not belittlement.

    You’d think that, as she took such offense to what these unenlightened few said in insult, she would shy away from such tactics herself.

    As my first teacher would have put it “A yog she is not”.”

    So well put! I was with her comment until I got to that Fox News part. I hate fox news as much as the next yoga-loving, local only purchasing, college student, but that really made me dismiss her entire argument and I suddenly felt bitter about her having had the video removed.

  • cakes

    But insulting Fox News is so cool to do

  • It’s hard when you’re being attacked to take the punches as they come. I admire Mrs. Maxwell’s defense of her work and her husband, as well as educating the public regarding his yoga expertise and history. Having the video removed, maybe. But an entire site shut down? Seems a little extreme. Lot’s of companies hope and plan for a video to go viral. This may have been a wonderful opportunity to educate and inspire. And to make us all re-evaluate our instant judgements from highly edited work.

  • William

    You take yourself and Mr Okidoki way too seriously. It was a frikkin’ joke. Grow a pair and stop hiding behind the law when someone laughs at your ridiculous show or touches your ego in another way. Yoga gets the reputation as being something for stuck up, pretentious upper middle class whites and you aren’t doing anything to change that image, believe me.

  • WayneSMT

    For all of you that want to see the video, here > http://viralfootage.com/?p=2807

    Jane Wells just Twitted it.

    You guys are funny. I haven’t seen this level of animosity since last summer and pretty much continuing to this day. But not in Yoga forums.

    Coming from a background that is distinctly more eastern then western I look at Yoga wayy differently then you guys. To me. Yoga is as natural as breathing, or bathing. Something that is just simply necessary to keep the wa in it’s optimum state. But that is me. You guys seem to either wear it on your sleeves like a badge or deride those that do.

    We are all on the same path people. Sometimes it seems that we are not, but it only seems that way.

  • George

    This is proof of the entire lulz of the internet.

    One dumb ass takes offense to the comments of the trolls and tards on an open forum, and gets a bunch of artists stuck in a hole. Mean while the video has found hosting at a bunch of other sites, many not even crediting the artists, and finding even further acclaim(for the wrong reasons). If they took offense to the comments they should have flagged them, and asked the channel to remove the video. Instead they fed the trolls, and got a lot of stick for it, and screwed up some artists. So no one won here accept the trolls.

  • billl

    this guy is obviously a crazy pedophile that just likes to watch kids bend around. i cant imagine how terrible it must have been for those kids to have filmed that im sure they were terrified and scarred for life. i feel soo bad for them. that guy should really go get professional help. and i think that the videos should be reviewed by someone in the legal field.

  • Chris Hansen

    Chris Hansen does not approve.

  • Anthony V

    She was doing ok until she got to the Fox News viewer comment. She can go enjoy her yoga with someone who cares….

  • fcw

    Hah! I would’ve loved this as a kid!


      This changed me and my friends life. I’m a huge supporter of Yogi Ogi Dogi. He is the greatest man!

  • Proud Anon.

    How pathetic, He got the Youtube account shut down. What a faggot.

  • william

    I know it’s a creepy video, it unsettles me more than Worzell Gumidge. But I met Max at a function in Malibu and he seemed pretty stressed, and after we did a couple of sun salutations in the carpark to help him relax, he opened up. He’s actually Benjiamin Smithers, a 6′ 6″ African American financial consultant crammed into this seedy little 5′ 9″ saggy white mena’s body. Making Yogi Oki Doki to him was like a bottle of french red wine to a pregnant alcoholic, a source close to Max reveals.

  • Jessica

    I have 2 kids, and I wouldn’t let my kids take a class from him. That’s for sure. I don’t care how many years of experience you have, there are a lot of things wrong with what is going on in that video.

  • Andy

    After seeing the clip during the 2Everything2Terrible II tour (yes — those clever folks are thankfully undeterred by this nonsense), I went out and purchased a copy of E-i E-i Yoga, to add to my collection and as a gift. The manner in which the clip was edited was thoroughly hilarious, yet as a somewhat intelligent person (who, incidentally, practices yoga as exercise as well as philosophy — more on that later) I was able to infer the value of the original programming, as well.

    Unfortunately, after seeing Mrs. Maxwell’s response and learning of her oppressive behavior in having the youtube account shut down, I am somewhat unsettled at my financial support for her production.

    The value of yoga is not only physical, but spiritual. Mrs. Maxwell would be advised to learn the concept of “equanimity” and integrate it into her life. It is simply the notion that if one is at peace with the world, then one will have equal reaction to any outcome of a given action or phenomenon.

    If Mrs. Maxwell reacts to a mockery of her husband with such contempt, then clearly she has not learned much from her practice of yoga. Perhaps it can be something more than a profitable video business venture for her, or a means to staying thin and flexible. But, then, perhaps not.

    “Duniya Yaara Rang Birangi
    Na Eh Bheri Na Eh Changi”

  • TheMonster

    Ummm…. no offense, but you just made the whole thing a bit worse. I’m sure that the yogi is not a creeper, but the show did make him appear to be one.

  • JoeM

    I don’t believe in judging a person by a badly edited video, and that it was. It clearly took the actual yoga video out of context. But still, you can take a single bit or two from the video and note the strange unacceptable behavior of the instructor. Looking at a child dressed in red and treating him or her like yummy food to eat is just not right in our culture. And the way the guy hugged those kids was, and I hate to sound stereotypical here, typical of a pedophiles behavior around kids. I have witnessed this myself over the years. Pedophiles give off an aura much like gay people. Most of the time it is obvious. It is especially obvious in the more strange individuals. I don’t think anyone should condemn the yoga instructor and label him a pedo. But I do think his style of “fun” for children is worthy of an investigation.

  • Yogi Lover

    You know what ?
    I saw the “Everything is terriable” version and I found myself wanting to get a copy of the actual video. NOT to make fun of it, but because I enjoyed it.

    It looks like a great video and it really gets the needed fun factor that children need in order to be interested. If I can find a DVD someplace of this video, I’ll buy it !!

    Yogi Ogi Doki is cool.

  • Michelle

    We have loved “playing” with Yogi Oki Doki and farm friends in our home for over 10 years. It has a great way to do yoga together as a family.

  • George Berkley

    Makes Fox News viewers look like Rhodes scholars? What the hell is that all about? She complains about prejudice and then goes on to judge and stereotype a large group of people in the next sentence! I saw the stupid clip and didn’t think he was creepy or a pedo, I think kids should be encouraged to learn yoga if they want to. However to insinuate that a large portion of the country is ignorant because of a channel that they watch IS ignorant, even if that channel is supportive of a political party more obviously than other channels (because they all are). Take a dose of your own medicine lady.

  • Max Barber

    Your husband might be a jedi master for all I care but that is a creepy, disturbing, borderline sexual video. It’s funny because its absolutely horrible.

  • Jayboy

    I just felt dirty after watching the Youtube video. It’s completely creepy to see some old whack job touching little kids like that. What’s next Hippie Yoga Farmer holding 12 y/o boys whilst they play COD on the XBOX? How about perfecting 13 y/o girls golf swings with his arms around their waste?

  • grandpoobah

    The video isn’t derided because it was edited. The video isn’t derided because it was put on youtube. The video is derided because it is creepy. You wouldn’t have a chance in hell of having a Michael Jacksonesque sleepover with milk and cookies with my kids, you dick. Just because you have a copyright doesn’t mean your product can’t be mocked for the tard factor.

  • Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…

    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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  • Robert

    Wow. So, because there is one racist comment to the video, she accuses, for some reason, all of Fox News viewers of basically being racist. Bigot much?

    • Kenneth C Peterson

      “Wow. So, because there is one racist comment to the video, she accuses, for some reason, all of Fox News viewers of basically being racist. ” …… because they all basically are…racist.

  • ST

    One viewer referred to one of the beautiful children he was teaching as “that little n***.


  • Elad Thims

    Uh…yeah. Creepy. I wouldnt allow a child near this … thing.

  • Chis Hansen

    Have a seat. Have a seat right there. Soo .. what are u doing?

  • James
  • Andy Bee

    How many of the naysayers and pedophilia accusers are fat slobs? Put down your cheeseburger and give a shout out!

    Granted, it’s a little rough around the edges, but anything that combats child obesity is good in my book.

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