Has your curiosity been piqued by the latest Yoga TV show news? Perhaps you’ve already answered the casting call and sent in your head shot (they have guest yogis as part of each episode). Sadie Nardini, star of new show “Rock Your Yoga” on the Veria Living network, connected with Jenn Pesce over email to talk about the new show and just what sort of ‘reality’ TV rockingness this is all about.
Jenn: Did you come up with the show concept or did someone approach you with it?
I have wanted to use my mass media background (journalism, writing and about a million YouTube videos) to bring yoga to television for a few years now.
I pitched a similar show to a bunch of production companies in LA, but not only did they have no idea how to put yoga on TV, it was a very icky exchange, mostly. One producer even asked me not to mention the word “yoga” around her “because yoga doesn’t sell”, she said.
Then this year, out of the blue, it happened: Veria as a network was looking to do more mainstream programming around mind/body shows, and we happened to hear about each other at the same time, through a couple of different channels. My manager Ava Taylor was in a meeting about something totally different, and the lady remembered that her friend at Veria was seeking a host for a new yoga show. Another person on their production team also had brought up my name, after seeing me online. So I met one of their producers for dinner, vino and a long conversation about our mutual vision of bringing this healing, empowering discipline to more people at once. I felt that we were in alignment …and the rest is (about to be) history.
You say that you want to change ‘reality’ tv – how so? How do you think a yoga show can do this?
Maybe it’s a lofty goal, but hey–dreaming big has gotten me to great places so far. I think, for starters, that anyone on TV who isn’t flashing their underwear or flipping tables or ripping each other’s hair out already has changed programming for the better. Yogis tend to enter whatever space, whether it’s a community, or a conversation, or prime time television, and alchemize it into a more positive place to be. At least, we strive to do that. So if my intention becomes reality, then we will be able to use a camera and a television set just like an asana–as another vehicle to show more people what an incredibly transformative experience they may have been missing out on.
When it comes to TV, it’s a very different animal, teaching-wise. I have about 8 minutes to make a point and teach a sequence in each section of an episode. Therefore I can’t workshop every pose like I tend to do. I have to make the practice really straightforward, not only for time’s sake, but to attract the people who may have been hesitant to try it in the past–but that’s not much different than how I teach anyway. So I’m assuming that those who think yoga needs to be more classically taught (whatever that is) will have a problem with my show, and think it’s more physically-focused than they would like. I don’t really care.
What they may not know is that Veria is actually owned by an Indian CEO, and their company is based on Ayurvedic and Yogic principles. In fact, I wanted to make a product with them that wasn’t in line with their ideals, and they wouldn’t do it. Apparently, 16-hour makeup is impossible to make organically. Lesson learned!
Students can get to center through many paths, and one is asana. That said, I aim to include other inspirations, benefits, and philosophy whenever possible. But damn! 8 minutes is not a lot of time. Teachers, you know what I mean!
I know that people who already do yoga can do a fun, deep sequence with me and get a lot out of it. Newbies will learn a little more every show, and that’s amazing too. Maybe this show will turn more people on to the practice, and local teachers and students will get a boost and see them wandering in!
My motto: More yogis, more better.
Are you recruiting people for the show? If yes, what ‘character traits’ are you looking for in your cast?
I’m filming 65 episodes, since this will be a daily (M-F) show. As such, I have three mat spaces available each time to showcase and share a wide spectrum of other yogis with the viewers. Basically, I’m seeking people who have perfect bodies, are rich beyond belief and single. Kidding! The whole point of me doing this show was to share actual people’s bodies and practices with viewers so the people at home might see themselves in someone on the show, and be more likely to try yoga. We all want to feel welcome, whether on or off a yoga mat, and so when they see all shapes, sizes, colors and orientations of people coming to ‘class’, perhaps they’ll stick with it too. So I’m considering all submissions–I already put out a call on Facebook, but if anyone’s interested, they can send me a headshot, a full-body pose shot and their availability to Info@SadieNardini.com between now and April 1 (we usually shoot each person for at least one full day, more if they can).
We don’t ask for the photos because we’re looking for the most sculpted people. We do it because we have to mix-n-match ‘types’ so we get a more full representation on every show. In addition, I’ll have lots of teachers of different styles of yoga on the show, since my style is something anyone can learn, and add to their practice that will help them access more anatomical ease, power and effectiveness in every pose.
How long is each show?
1 hour, and it includes about 35 minutes of yoga on the mat, a daily inspiration and a final take-home sequence with tips and tools viewers can use in their daily lives to practice their yoga off the mat as well.
Can you watch them online?
What I do know, is that if it’s not on your provider, you can call and get all yogi-dedicated to bugging the crap out of them, and they just might add some more mind/body goodness to their current offerings. A request for Veria is a statement against the more negative, dysfunctional programming out there, in my opinion.
When does the first show air?
The show is airing May 14th. I think we’re on Verizon and Fios. Time Warner subscribers should call them and press them to add Veria if they want to get this mind/body network on their TV. We are filming in NYC, both on the street and at the Veria studios, 37th street/5th ave.
jenn pesce loves the yoga and she loves spreading the word about it including yoga fun on a budget, yoga news, yummy eats, and lots of giggles (on and off the mat) she loves to share. to get the yogadeal from jenn on twitter @yogadeals and her blog jennpesce.com