When you think of Russia, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Yoga, right? We knew it! Well, when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev refers to himself as an “ardent yoga practitioner,” meets with BKS Iyengar on the Guru’s return to the country after a 20 year absence, and former first lady Naina Yeltsina proclaims it should be “practiced in every Russian home,” you could bet it might be catching on.
Of course, according to a recent article in The New York Times, the main yogi demographic are the folks partial to Starbucks double mocha lattes, Burberry blankets alongside their yoga mats and holiday jaunts off to Goa.
Mr. Medvedev has not been photographed in the lotus position. But, in Moscow at least, yoga studios have become almost as ubiquitous as coffee shops and sushi bars, and yoga is an essential part of elite health clubs.
In other words, Lululemon’s next target market!* No doubt there’s a new yuppie yoga craze happening in the land we might lazily associate with gymnastics, tea rooms, vodka and Baryshnikov.
In fact, Russians participated in Art of Living and the Human Values Foundation sponsored international yoga week, where Ravi Shankar was on hand to divulge the secrets of “Ethics in Business” at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, in front of dapper dan yupsters who paid about $200 ($5,000 rubles) a ticket to get in.
Well, it’s a start. What’s more, they had their first national Yoga Day on September 12th where over 90 studios in cities offered free yoga!
Congratulations Yoga, you’re an international phenomenon! Even Russia is matching their Louis Vuitton handbags with stretchy pants and sticky mats. Maybe for now it’s elitist, but we can’t imagine it will be too long before we start hearing about by-donation classes full of йога dorks. *(and probably the Russian flagship Lulu store, let’s not kid ourselves)
Now we have proof: Contrary to internet belief, the image below is not Russian Yoga. But we’ve got their slogan just in case:
Russian Yoga, It’s Not What You Drink.
got a better one?