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Tara Stiles Launches ‘Slim, Calm, Sexy’ Yoga to Acclaim, Insult, Revolt (see marketing)

in Business of Yoga, YD News

Now YOU can be sexy is just 15 minutes a day! Whoa, hold the twinkies, are you talking about yoga? This is the marketing message of Tara Stiles’ new book Slim, Calm, Sexy, three little words that unlock a whole smorgasbord of emotions, connotations and a motherload of self-consciousness, maybe even worse than camel toe.

Eat, Pray, Love; Slim, Calm, Sexy; mind, body, spirit – we’re on a 3-word roll! This, friends, is the new frontier of the Incredible, Edible, Yoga: bite sized munchkins of a practice formed from the whole of the yoga donut, downsized and palatable enough for women’s magazine splash ads, and 3-minute morning show bits. Is this bad? Does it matter? Whether we like it or not Tara Stiles is the “new face of fitness” deemed so by ‘Workout’ Queen herself, Madame Jane Fonda. It’s true. (The women’s magazines are a whole other glob of dough to fry).

So Tara has seen her share of the spotlight, as a model, yoga teacher, American Apparel yoga ad-maker, Nissan yoga ad-maker, Deepak Chopra ‘Authentic Yoga’ iPhone app collaborator, and now author. She has done all of this with an impossibly thin physique! Something we assume she was born with, so we can’t really fault her on that, right? (though we can certainly look on begrudgingly).

But WHAT about the message? Responses to the hyper-pinked marketing have ranged from “We love Tara! but…” to vehement and passionately dissenting, aghast at the way yoga is whittled down to a disposable diet fad to tackle the “epidemic of bra fat!“. Stop the insanity! One commenter said it looks like something out of Cosmo, but we’re thinking it’s borderline late-night infomercial. We actually totally get the yoga every day thing. Great! Yoga to “give you the body of your dreams”? Ack. Yoga for the masses? WHO are the masses? Intention is there, but the message all wrong. Although, really, it’s not that far off point as far as thi “mass” marketing is concerned. See the comparison of book covers between T. Stiles and Tracy Anderson, fitness expert to the stars! (Madonna, Gwyneth, etc) below.

In a society where obsession over “no pain, no gain” fitness is routine, a yoga community that is already tossing cookies over too-sexy/naked yoga ads, and the billion dollar industry where there are moguls, large-scale mass-produced corporate sponsored events, Hollywood movie franchising and yoga “talent” representatives, would we really be surprised to find that 1-800 number on the screen at 3 in the morning badgering us to ‘act fast! feel the yoga burn with 4 easy payments of $19.99!’ ? And should we be shocked if the bandwagon of merry yogsters pisses off the hardcore home team? Something is certainly shifting, but it’s undeniable yoga is a hot commodity. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Want to know our reaction? It defaults to: what would Gabourey Sidibe have to say about this?



82 comments… add one
  • Vehement and Venomous sound like a wrestling tag team. Hello Vince McMahon! The next two ring Divas are on their way.

    Bottom line — her book is going to end up in Borders bargain bin for $2.99 in a few months anyway when people go on to the next best thing.

    The only thing that has changed for me is the credibility of Deepak Chopra.

  • Venomous ? Really? I don’t know what’s venemous about speaking the truth here. Tara has turned yoga into the next “fat burning” technique. It’s more than lame.

    You’ve written a balanced post here, but I can’t say that describing my post or Linda’s in negative terms is doing much for the cause either.

    And I agree – if Deepak is really associated with Tara, then wow…

  • admin

    Linda and Svasti…I love your comments and always think you add great insight to the convo.
    I really don’t think vehement is too off, do you?
    Svasti – you’ve been the brightest light shining direct disgust on the topic AND directly engaging Tara herself on twitter. I agree venomous might be too strong a word, but there’s definite passion and outrage.

    The point was to show that there’s a part of the community that’s not happy.

  • I don’t mind vehement, but Svasti’s post venomous? No.

    I wrote a post today after I thought, oh gee, was I being too harsh? When it comes down to it, no. Anyone who puts themselves out there in how they advertise their product needs to be able to take the heat.

    Frankly, this “Americanized yoga” saddens me — this attitude that anything can be called “yoga” in America and that makes it yoga. I get it why Indians are pissed off and are looking to protect it (like your posts on the “culture wars.”) I want to protect it too. I could go on, but I won’t. Just read today’s post.

  • Tara Stiles looks anorexic, not healthy.

    Like Linda, I feel sad that Tara is the”face of fitness”.

  • admin

    [ed. note]

  • I’m sure I’ve written too much about this already.

    And even I condemned this latest ad as “blatant false advertising” and totally inconsistent with Tara’s writing, video instructions clips, and even her iPod application with Chopra.

    I urge everyone to go over right now and read the first ten pages of Tara’s book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/aTCTCp

    The first thing you notice is that unlike the ad, which promises that you will BE slim, calm, and sexy, in the book Tara makes it very clear that the goal is to make you FEEL that way from the inside out, to get to wherever is right for you, not some artificial ideal–to get to whatever makes you feel good inside, regardless of your body type. She discusses her own struggles with body image, stess, and lack of self-esteem as a ballet dancer and model.

    This does not excuse the awful false advertising in the ad, but it’s nice to see that this is over-the-top marketing as opposed to being representative of the book itself. (Actually it would be hard to imagine a whole book as bad as this ad.)

    Now, why couldn’t she just say in the ad what she says in the book?

    Bob Weisenberg

  • Melanie

    I have to say that I enjoy Tara’s YouTube videos. The fact that they are short make them easy to fit into my busy schedule. Re: the advertising for Tara’s book–do you think she was the one who created the campaign. Maybe she had nothing to do with it. Often times I think that authors of books do the writing and the people who publish the book do the advertising. Does the author really get much of a say in how they do this? I don’t know. All I can say is that I think that Tara needs to be cut a little slack in this as she may have had nothing to do with the advertising campaign for her new book…

  • Tony

    I think it’s awesome that yoga made it into Women’s Health magazine.

    Links from the front page of the website:
    – The Best Summer Bodies of 2010
    – WEIGHT LOSS: Betting to Lose Weight
    – Look (And Feel!) Picture Perfect with SpaFinder Deal Days!
    – Save on Beauty Recovery
    – Look Better Naked!
    – Drop 2 Sizes!

    Regardless of how good/bad, deep/shallow Tara’s book is, any yoga related content on that site can only help.

    One of the toughest parts of beginning a practice is just showing up. Any extra encouragement is a good thing.

  • David

    Nice one Bob from elephantjournal,

    My first reaction was despair, but I got to thinking that judging her book by its cover, or her teaching by its advertising isn’t right.

    A Zen master said:
    The Buddha law cannot be founded like a thunderbolt from a blue sky,
    it must put on a shabby vesture it be accepted in the market towns and cities. (can’t remember if that’s exactly right, but you get the idea)

    My point is that lots of people come to my classes just for a workout, or to help with back pain, or because it gives them a chance to show off their new Lululemon ensemble. So long as they leave with something of substance, but hey… not everyone can hear the teaching.

  • Fatback

    I took a free class with her in LA pegged to the Great Lawn Event & found her to be the most non-celebrity yogi, running around making sure every newbie was safe in the most encouraging & hands-on manner. She was patient and kind and didn’t show off advanced poses or put the spotlight on the pros in the crowd. Unlike many teachers who just “lead” a class by calling out postures, she was really adjusting & giving quick personal demos to people. there was no promo of anything before or after, just friendly chatting. Don’t hate her because she’s skinny! She was not “on,” but you could tell she loved sharing yoga, not being in the spotlight herself. Not a control freak/selfpromoter vibe, which may be part of how & why her “brand” is being promoted contrary to who she is.

  • “Don’t hate her because she’s skinny!”

    I wondered how long it would take for someone to say that.

  • Great, Sama gets a “vehement”, Svasti gets a “venomous” and all I get is a lousy “epidemic of bra fat“…. I want a “v” word…:(

  • Yogadork. How about an interview with Tara?

  • I’ll take my hour-long, spiritual, slow burn yoga class any day over this fifteen minute crap.

  • strangely_brown

    What exactly is the problem here? That Tara’s yoga routine might appeal to people for the “wrong reasons”? It’s a consumer product. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you don’t think that it truly captures the essence of yoga in all its glory, then again, don’t buy it. And don’t practice your yoga that way.

  • yogabird

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I love your blog, Dork. I’ve been reading all of the fury and frustration over this and the ToeSox thing, and, frankly, it all just…well, it really bums me out. To Bob’s question “why couldn’t she just say in the ad what she says in the book?”…there’s one very simple answer: $$. You can’t fault her for wanting her to sell her book, but cut her slack? Hmmm. She has to be held somewhat accountable for the message she’s sending. And while I won’t buy the book, or practice my yoga that way, I do think it is important to say THIS (meaning, the crazy photo of Tara) is not what yoga is all about.

  • i get “meeting people where they are” but this seems to fall more into “keeping people un-aware of where that yoga could take them to a more positive place than in front of the vanity mirror”

  • Judy

    Does it seem that men feel there is nothing wrong with this while women do. Maybe its just my imagination.

  • Hi, Judy. Maybe in our little Yoga group here. But the vast majority of buyers are women, enough to make this book #2 on Amazon. One has to either believe there is something very good about the book or that they are all being hoodwinked by the over-the-top false advertising. Personally I have a lot more faith in the intelligence and judgment of the average woman than that.

    For me it was a revelation to look past the ads and browse the actual book. It’s all very standard “Yoga for healthy mind and body” stuff. There is far more emphasis on the mind and mental health than in most asana books. And Tara backs up everything she writes with the latest research. I think the book itself is quite good.

    Bob W.

  • I’m skinny, to the casual viewer. Due to an injury that has prevented me from doing anything that requires bouncing (like aerobics or running), *I* know I’ve gotten soft and don’t like how that makes me look or feel. I love the idea that she has (potentially – I haven’t read the book) outlined a series that can help me get back to the weight and shape I used to be before being injured, without the need for impact-type exercises.

    Getting out of shape has made me depressed and affected my body’s ability to properly heal itself. Yes, that whole size 8 down to a 00 blurb was dumb, but for those of us who aren’t happy to be softer and rounder, what is wrong with a book that caters to us?

  • Also – an author has very little input into what’s on the cover of the book unless they use a vanity publisher. The blurbs are from the marketing department.

  • Emily

    As a former publicist in book publishing, I can say 100% that authors with clout can have input on the marketing/advertising for their books! This appeal to the widest possible audience is understandable, but as a yogi I wish she had stepped in and said no to the size 00 stuff. It’s just kinda gross.

    By the way, do we know where she got trained? She seems really young to be such a global ambassador of yoga…

  • Emily said: “[…]authors with clout can have input on the marketing/advertising for their books! ”

    Keywords being “with clout” and “can”. Maybe she has clout in yoga, but outside of that world, I don’t know that anyone’s heard of her. And they “can” have input. Doesn’t mean, 100%, that they “do”. And finally, “input” =/= “final say.”

  • “There is far more emphasis on the mind and mental health than in most asana books”

    I suggest you read some books on viniyoga, Bob, before you make that comparison. I wouldn’t exactly compare Stiles to Gary Kraftsow.

  • Sorry, Linda. I should have been more specific.

    I meant, of course, in her genre of asana books targeted at beginners that can be found on the shelf at the average bookstore.

  • Bob, are you down to a size 00 yet ? 🙂

  • Daniella M

    This ad is scarring!

    Sell out!!! Be fit in 15 minutes should not be an ad for yoga.

  • Kat

    I love Tara Stiles and I think the more yoga out there the better!! We need to stop being overly critical of her and other pioneers making moves in the (marketing) field of yoga and just be happy that this video, and other “sexy” ad campaigns, will in the end attract more people to the practice. And everyone can agree that with more yogis out there, the world will be a better place. 🙂 Namaste fellow yogadorks.

  • Mandy

    What you are missing Kat is that this will turn people off to yoga who will view it like just another fitness fad. Yoga doesn’t need more people doing yoga, it needs less people going into it with the illusion of slim and sexy.

  • Kat. I agree with you, but hesitated to say it so directly as that (although I still object to that one ad which seems to promise instant results with minimal effort.)

    Mandy, I wonder if you have had a chance to browse the book itself. To me it doesn’t come across that way at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. Tara knows that mental and physical health starts with self-acceptance and the relief from stress that it brings.

    I agree the ad campaigns emphasize slim and sexy, but the book, to me at least, is about healthy mind and body, whatever that means for you, not some artificial ideal. I’d really like to hear some more opinions about the book itself, as opposed to only the ad campaign.

    Bob W.

  • Mandy

    I wonder if you bought and read the book yourself, bob w. Why don’t you go chapter by chapter and enlighten us with your support of this book against the ancient yoga texts.

  • No, Mandy, just browsed it on Amazon.

    I personally don’t see the slightest competition between ancient Yoga and modern Yoga, only different branches of tree that has been vast and endlessly varied for several thousand years.

    Just how vast and varied I’m only now coming to fully appreciate in Georg Feuerstein’s The Yoga Tradition.

    Bob W.

  • Mandy

    8:12 pm
    No, Mandy, just browsed it on

    Yep, thought so

    • slayer

      you are just being rude. get the book and read it yourself. try writing your own yoga book if you think this book is so bad.

  • That’s why I’d like to see someone review it. I’m sure I’m not the right person to do it.

    Amazon did allow me to read large portions of the book, however. What are your impressions of the book itself? I would certainly like to hear other opinions than mine.


    Bob W.

  • Mandy

    Oh I forgot the context: bob asked really
    like to hear some more opinions
    about the book itself, as opposed to
    only the ad campaign.

    Guess bob hasn’t read the book he is defending.

  • You’re right, Mandy. I have not read the whole book, only long excerpts on Amazon and random browsing on Amazon preview system. I don’t mean to mislead anyone about that. Thanks for clarifying.


  • Can anyone find fault with this advice?


    The book is an expanded and well-researched version of this kind of yogic focus-the-mind thing for the three areas of 1) physical well-being (misleadingly labelled “slim”), 2) mental health (“calm”), and 3) better sex (misleadingly labeled “sexy”).

    I agree the labels and the marketing are misleading at best, outright false at worst. But the actual message seems right to me.

    The best overall Yoga practice book I’ve ever come across is Kripalu Yoga: A Guide to Practice On and Off the Mat. It’s hard to describe just how wonderful this book is, especially when pared with a book on pure philosophy, like the equally brilliant Kripalu based book Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by senior Kripalu teacher Stephan Cope.

    But these two books are too heavy for a lot of beginners. I think many people new to Yoga needs an introduction and stepping stone like Tara’s book. If it draws them into a Yoga class or into a book like Kripalu, that’s great. If not, I still think there’s a lot of value there, even if it’s not the be all and the end all of Yoga books.

    Bob W.

  • monique r

    I find it entertaining how people see Yoga is too sacred to go commercial- you realize it’s a practice brought fromthe other side of the world…right? We are not the gatekeepers so, let’s not try to be the authority here in the US of A on the varying degrees of authenticity of yoga.

    Commercialization seems like a pretty predictable turn of events and thus, probably worth it to save your bitterness. I think there are worse people commercializing Yoga–Bikram being my least favorite as that really is intended to be FAT burning and barely about anything else, not to mention how homie cruises NYC in his Bentley or whatever obnoxiously expensive vehicle. Tara seems to me to be self aware enough to not be turning into that type of “awesome”. Also, if you’ve looked at the book or read excerpts from her or watched any of her youtube videos, you may realize she’s half deceiving those who play into that marketing—nothing she actually says plays into what you see on the cover.

  • Daniella M

    I agree with mandy slim and sexy is a disgusting way to define yoga goals

  • Daniella M

    I just read the pages on amazon. Im even more disapointed… I just dont think anything good comes out of it. Yoga is all about making peace with yourself and your body.

  • Weston

    What makes this book so offensive is the hollow promise that a few minutes of yoga will have you looking glam. This is the latest example of a quick fix self help type of book that litters the american market place. It’s a sucker is born every minute fraud that the public continues to buy into because most can’t be bothered with the time and discipline that a real yoga practise requires. This is so dumbed down yoga that the intellect of the author needs to be questioned. There is always money to be made by catering to the base needs of people to be slim and sexy.

    This book will no doubt sell well putting cash into the pocket of the author while quickly joining the other get fit quick books and videos that end up selling for a couple of bucks on Amazon after a short while. There always money to be made on guilt tripping the public. I fear that this will lead people away from yoga when they move on to the next fitness craze.

    This looks like a disservice to yoga by presenting it in an almost cartoon hollowness that insults the integrity of yoga with it’s catch phrase presentation of yoga like material.

  • really boggles the mind how people miss the message of the ad.

    “nothing she actually says plays into what you see on the cover.”

    which makes the ad even more bullshit and which she should address.

    “I think many people new to Yoga needs an introduction and stepping stone like Tara’s book.”

    c’mon. really? I have students who have been with me since Day 1 of my teaching almost 10 years ago when books in the style of Stiles did not exist. What brought them to my classes? “slim calm sexy” yoga? really? I don’t think so.

  • nadine

    The ad itself provoked such an aversion, I didn’t wish to see the book. However, after reading these comments, I decided to browse on amazon. A former ballet dancer myself, I am struck that in her intro, while she mentioned having the disadvantage of a late start and feeling too tall as a young dancer, she didn’t mention the soul crushing pressure to be thin. Perhaps she declined to mention it because it’s that very mindset which she perpetuates when touting yoga as a ‘weight loss routine’. Why not emphasize that while a regular yoga practice – along with dietary discretion – does help one maintain a healthy weight, most importantly the yoga practice will cultivate a sense of self acceptance and the discernment to see past society’s obsession with skinny? I’d like to see someone write a book about that. And the sexy? I’m not looking for the phrase “orgasm jackpot” in a yoga book, yet today I unfortunately found it. Bramacharya anyone? The effort to reach out to the mainstream and extend yoga in a simple appealing way is an effort to be applauded, but I do think that repackaging yoga so that it conforms to the very societal ills that yoga aims to lead us away from should be rejected.

  • Daniella M

    well stated nadine

  • is everyone talking about ‘hatha yoga’ here? because it sounds more like people are defending earlier schools of yoga- meditation, breathing, a few simple poses. most postures were developed in modern day society, and in america for that matter. the history of yoga is still unfolding, and it really can be whatever the practicer wants it to be. if it brings you to the present moment and exercises your body, i don’t see what all the judgement is about. and sexiness?! what is wrong with that- we all want to feel sexual, it’s one of our most primal desires. i haven’t read the book; but if it brings people to yoga, maybe the types of people that wouldn’t normally think to try yoga, i think it’s a success.

  • it also seems a bit catty that women are getting so angry at a thin woman writing a book about weight loss. many people in america are obese unfortunately, and i think yoga is a much better answer for body awareness than running on a treadmill at a gym watching TV. and really, who are we to judge another’s style of practice?

  • Patricia

    I’m amused by it all, especially the accusation that ‘a bit catty women’ get angry at a thin woman. Jeez. Haven’t we evolved beyond THAT yet??
    I think those of us who gravitate more towards the deeper spiritual pinnings of yoga (and no, I don’t mean, Yoga Butt, Yoga Boogie, Yoga for Dogs and Other Critters, Yoga Hip Hop, Yoga and Wine, Yoga and Chocolate, etc etc etc blah blah blah) get a little frustrated with some of the marketing we see, such as this. (I have not read the book, but I did try her IPod subscription – got tired of her referring to the audience as ‘guys.’ ) So she doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t go for her style. If she does with you, good for you. Buy the book, buy the DVDs, be happy. She looks photoshopped anyway (maybe we get a rant going about that! 🙂

  • Certainly not my style of teaching or outlook on yoga but I’m “over” worrying about sexy fitness yoga, even if the title of this book is mis-chosen and has big pink dollar signs written all over it. But the arguments over authenticity and seriousness have been raging for centuries according to Mark Singleton’s interesting thesis in his book “Yoga Body” (no pink cover). I don’t think Tara’s approach pits itself against contemplative yoga or self enquiry.

    By the way, I thought the Nike and Yoga Spokesperson Kimberly Fowler (Yoga for Athletes) crossed a line with the “Yoga is a Sport” catch phrase.

    • laura, liked your reply, bringing up the longness of the authenticity battle, at least as per mark singleton’s bk, but gotta ask, wouldn’t that also justify the nike/kimberly slogan? isn’t part of the point of mark’s bk that so many of our current day asana poses a blend of more recent influences, including gymnastics? anyway, still liked your post, thanks 😉

  • Thanks to Tara, I am beginning to REALLY practice yoga as opposed to imagining becoming this enlightened yogini who must retreat to India or a Greek isle to find inner peace and wisdom.

    If yoga cannot bring you inner peace and wisdom right where you are — then what’s the point? Just how many people can or should drop their lives, and move on to the mountains and start mumbling-jumbling in Sanskrit?

    Knowledge is for people, people are not for knowledge.

    P.S. I hate pink, but it that’s truly Tara, then why not? Besides her yoga is all no-nonsense. Peace! (Or should I just say the ever-so-pretentious, “Namaste”?)

    • rachel

      namate isn’t pretentious. neither is sansrkit in general. it’s like tara stiles came along and reminded people stretching is fun! yes! it’s true! and here’s some poses from this ancient tradition called yoga but don’t worry about the yoga part… well all i can say is that’s cool- don’t call it yoga.

      the harpsichord and the piano are related instruments but you’re not going to tell someone you’re giving them piano lessons if you’re teaching them the harpsichord. It’s totally great to make a routine that’s palatable for the average person but yoga IS actually a specific thing even though westerners may not believe it. You can’t usurp thousands of years of tradition because you don’t like the message. It just don’t work that way.

      Let’s say I wanted to teach greek cooking without olive oil, feta or oregano. What do you think people would say? I mean I have no problem with Tara, I just think people need to acknowledge that white westerner women didn’t invent it to lose weight.

      • Staycie

        Thank you. I agree 100%.

      • Sonia

        Absolutely. Very well said…

  • Bob

    Maybe people want the physical and mental benefits of yoga without feeling pressured to travel to India and drink their own urine. Like Tara said, who made the rules?

  • I can say a lot about the horrible message this book sends to women on so many levels. But there’s another important point that also gets missed: Tara obviously knows jack about actually losing weight, which is supposedly one of the benefits she touts of her book.

    When I was in my 20s, I was stick thin and a lot of people thought I was anorexic. I just had a high metabolism. I could have eaten Twinkies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and never exercised, and still stayed thin.

    Tara obviously has a body like that. She has no business preaching that she knows how to use yoga to lose weight. Let’s see what her body looks like 20 years from now after her metabolism slows down, then maybe we can talk.

    • tracy

      @ namasteph: I absolutely couldn’t disagree with you more. I started practicing yoga about 4 months ago, and I tell you, I’ve dropped more weight (27 lbs so far) doing yoga than any other excersize I’ve tried. AND I’m in my late 30s. The metabolism does slow down when women age, because we don’t move as much as we did when we were younger – yoga has changed all that for me. So before you demonize Tara by claiming that she has “no business preaching” that yoga allows people to lose weight, you might want to consider my case, and scores of women like me who look better, breathe better, and fit into their clothes better all because of yoga.

      • Mandie

        @ namasteph: I also disagree with you. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean they were blessed with a high metabolism like you were. If you look at her blog that includes the recipes she obviously eats on a regular basis, you find that they are vegan and probably gluten free as well. She is an advocate for weight loss through diet and yoga. But I guess now I will stop assuming everyone knows that diet and exercise come hand in hand for weight loss.. I don’t practice yoga for weight loss like Tracy above, but I do eat the same way Tara does, and that alone has cause me to become slender in the same way she is. Yoga isn’t a tool to cause weight loss in it of itself, it’s a tool to aid in weight loss, which is how Tara promotes it. But, you’d know that if you actually knew anything about her, before typing out your word vomit.

  • I think Tara Stiles is great, but what bothers me about the weight loss book is that it pretty much claims that everyone will have a ‘yoga-slim’ body, just like hers, with only 15 minutes a day.

    Exercise has never been proven to cause weight loss… only diet has.

  • Juliana

    Thanks for this article. Very interesting. I have a question. I am trying to learn more about yoga in our country and how it is connected to marketing, etc., and I was interested in one of your comments in the article: “Intention is there, but the message all wrong.” I am wondering what you mean by this. What intention is there exactly? Why do we do yoga and why are we marketing it to the masses? Why do we push ourselves to do complicated poses verging on acrobatics? Is our intention to heal our minds and bodies? If yoga was really doing that, would we even need to market it? Wouldn’t is speak for itself?

    Thank you again.


  • Toddy

    I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. Oh dear! Not just yoga but WEIGHTLOSS yoga presented by…. Dunkin Donuts. OMG. That video alone was so much fun to watch it made my day. I’m still giggling. Stiles’ yoga is not my yoga but I wish her and her students well. Rock on Yogadork – my face hurts from smiling too much.

  • Chris

    Yogadork I’m a little confused. I flipped through the book in a bookstore but ended up purchasing another book that was recommended in one of two Tara stiles videos I have watched before. It was called Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar. She mentioned that this was practically required reading for people seriously getting into yoga. I guess I’m just wondering if you are saying that everything she says is just pseudo yoga leading people completely off..that is what I gather your opinion is of her. That sucks because my girlfriend found her free videos extremely inspiring as a down to earth, non intimidating person and kept pursuing it whereas the class I took with her locally we were so turned off by the arrogant teacher who pretty much humiliated us for lack of prior understanding that we never tried it again for a year. I guess I’m just saying that maybe her book title is not the best but I know at least my girlfriend found her approach to be extremely easy to relate to and inspired her to continue. I believe she also teaches $10 classes at her studio in NYC or wherever she is located. That is pretty cool if you ask me, especially for someone who apparently has become very popular as your article suggests. I guess what needs clarification is what do you mean that she just teaches stretching and not yoga? I believe all of the poses my girlfriend taught me that she learned in tara videos have been consistent with what she has learned in local classes.

    • Madelain Burgoyne

      Nicely said, I second you comment Chris!

      Yep, the marketing might not be so great, but her yoga is awesome and who can deny that she knows her stuff when you watch her video.

      Tara reaches so many people out there! People who probably would never have tried a yoga class at all if it weren’t for her plain English (leaving out the Sanskrit) & modern take on yoga. Some yoga is better than no yoga if it gets an every day person to connect with themselves a little more. it inevitably plants some sort of seed, in which a person can choose to pursue the deeper legacy of yoga if they wish. That’s at least how it happened for me…

      I found Sadie Nardini (one of YD fav celebrity yoginis AKA the Rock star yogini) on YouTube and found her own modern interpretation and creative interpretation on yoga far more compelling and attractive than intimidating traditional classes & such other styles.

      YD i’m a huge fan of yours.
      So Tara got some sleazy marketing done for her book, It still can’t undo all the good she’s done.
      Rock on Tara!
      Rock on YD!

  • Jess

    Maybe it would be interesting if people knew her background which began as a fashion model in NYC. This profession in itself helps to promote a false image of the Self. Being a model myself I understood the need to stay healthy but at the same time if I did not stick to a certain size I would not work, that does not come with yoga alone, it helps to eat very little. And this creates a sort of neurosis, sticks with you through your life if you have been in the industry long enough. She started to promote yoga during her contracted period with Ford Models. This I know from the online you tube videos which are still available and promote the model agency as well as her short yoga sequences. So I see a young women who found something worth promoting probably as a way to stay fit and healthy in the modeling world & to probably secure more high end dollar jobs… I see a woman who is using herself and her great looks and probably her knowledge on how to promote herself (as you learn how to do in the cut throat industry as the modeling world) to get ahead in the yoga world which is new to yoga, the whole marketing beautiful slimming sexy idea. Is it wrong? well as an ex model who has practiced yoga for over 10 years to help cope with the demands of the job, I think it is lovely in a way for her to be able to reach so many, and yes there will be lots of critics just like the modeling world. I just hope that she can be humble through all of this, and give back more than just videos and books to the world and help people through other forms of seva, which dont need promotion and exposure and earn big bucks. I love her videos, but I also see the the money she must make from all of this, and wonder is she exploiting herself like she did in modeling to get ahead and buy a lovely something rather, or is she truely doing this to help all of the sentient beings love and get a long with each other.

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