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Fox News Debates Yoga vs Sports and ‘Wussification’ of America

in YD News, Yoga in Sports

Let’s just start by staying this is a stupid argument with moot points. Nevertheless, Fox News is a force and when they start bringing on a “motivational speaker” hawking a book entitled ‘Grow a Pair’ to debate the merits of yoga and how America is getting wussier, we can’t just sit idly by in sukhasana. As British electronica band Faithless once quothed, “Misinformation is a weapon of mass destruction.” In other words, pardon the rant.

So this all started, it seems, because ABC presented a story yesterday about the popularity of yoga and how it’s really getting big with the kiddies. In the story they called yoga “the fastest-growing sport in America, with 20 million people practicing.” ‘Sport?!’ squawked Fox News execs. Bring on the experts.

Of course they drag in the dude with the cowboy shirt and bald head spouting such sound bite-worthy phrase as “yoga nazis” and “wussification of America.” Take it away Larry Winget.

Via RawStory:

“I think Yoga’s amazing, I think it’s wonderful,” Winget said sarcastically as co-host Steve Doocy giggled. “I’m going to say that because I don’t want all those yoga Nazis coming after me on this thing. Listen, I think it’s a great supplement to a real sport, but it’s certainly not a sport.”

Here’s the thing, no one’s arguing with you Winget, Fox and friends. (Well, maybe Bikram, but he’s used to scuffles.) Is yoga a sport? Moot. Who cares? Besides, according to these guys you need a ball to call it a sport, and that term should be reserved for tough things like…fishing or hunting? Oh, wait. Nevermind other popular ball-less sports like track and field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, wrestling, equestrian and any kind of racing. Again, moot. The point is yoga is getting popular but we’re all lazy wussies because “apparently we have a lot of time on our hands,” right Steve Doocy? Grrr. Goats have been gotten!

“It’s not just about yoga. You see a trend that’s disturrrbing,” eggs on co-host Doocy (emphasis, ours).

“I think it is a trend that is the wussification of American,” said Toughy McToughburger.

He continues,

“Luckily, I’ve got a new book coming out this fall called ‘Grow a Pair’ that deals with that very thing, that we need to toughen up and stand up for ourselves and learn to be a lot tougher than yoga’s going to teach us to do all by ourselves.”

Yes, lucky for us. Being tougher and more competitive is exactly what we need to teach kids in today’s world. Listen, no one’s trying to replace sports with yoga. The practice can offer tools for anger management, self-esteem and improved focus, to name a few. Totally lame, we know. Believe us, no one is threatening your competitive sport obsession, Larry. (We take it he missed the memo where super heroes and famous non-wussy athletes practice yoga.)

Honestly though, by the end of the clip we started to feel bad for the dude  - who softens for a second and admits yoga is good for you – for getting dragged into what sounds like Fox vs ABC playground bullying. To Fox’s credit, the benefits of yoga are mentioned, but the condescending laughter is enough to twist your vrittis. Maybe they can settle it with a “real” sport like boxing, unless they don’t have the balls. ba-dum…

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20 comments… add one

  • chris

    Grrrr

    Ex-college athlete (hockey and lacrosse guy, very manly sports, double grrr)

    I also teach yoga, and practiced while I was in college. Teammates at first thought I was just some sissy weirdo, but over time began asking me to teach them things because I could do things on the field they couldn’t from yoga practice.

    Unfortunate that Fox news can’t say anything good about yoga without freaking out their hardcore right wing/christian viewers (even though Jesus was basically a super advanced yogi according to the Bible…if you have reading comprehension skills that is).

    ALAS…what can we truly do, haters gonna hate. stick to the path friends

  • Kathy E

    Ah, you hit the nail on the head with “reading comprehension skills.” Red staters/Fox News watchers tend to come from places where education is not a priority. It shows in a lot of ways, doesn’t it?

  • NCDan

    “Jesus was basically a super advanced yogi according to the Bible…”

    Hmmm…INTERESTING!!!

    Please elaborate.

  • Jeanette

    This article totally, honestly made me laugh out loud. Your interpretation of this nonsense is spot on. But what would I know.

    Your faithful wuss,
    Jeanette

  • Mike

    How to respond without being judgmental?

    Let me think about that….

  • Colleen W

    I agree that yoga is not a sport, and I sincerely hope it never ever de-volves into that classification. Perhaps if Mr Winget took up the practice it would help his self-esteem issues. Braggadoccio (sp?) and narcissism are not indicators of healthy self-esteem.

    NCDan, everything that Jesus taught can be found in the Bhagavad Gita, part of one of the most ancient and sacred texts of India, the Mahabharata (again, sp?). They may even be found in the Rig Veda, but I don’t really know because I’ve not ever read it. It is thought that during the years when Jesus seemed to have disappeared he was actually in India learning things such as bi-location from yogic masters.

  • Erik

    Can this get anymore biased?

  • Diamond Dallas Page, what say you? ;)

  • garuda

    Well Larry, get your ass on a mat in my class and we will interact with the wussification of Larry Winget

  • Wow! I thought yoga was more accepted shown in this interview. I would consider myself a beginner, but I have done enough yoga to encourage other people to take up their own practice. Yoga is not the same as basketball or football, but it certainly isn’t a “wuss” activity.

  • Live and let live – I will focus my energy on my asana’s and will be open to anyone who wants to know more about yoga from a beginner yogi (they can judge for themselves if it is for wussies or not).

  • Hi Good One,

  • Becky L

    Let them take an hour-long hot Vinyasa class and see how wussy they feel…

  • Luna

    I could be wrong, but at least people are “talking” about yoga, right? Even if some of these folks are misinformed … I am glad there is discussion. The truth is still here.
    I am trying to breathe as I feel defensive towards the dialogue on this show. If someone isn’t open and ready to try yoga, then it just isn’t the right time for them.
    These are just my thoughts..

  • “Luckily, I’ve got a new book coming out this fall called ‘Grow a Pair’ that deals with that very thing, that we need to toughen up and stand up for ourselves and learn to be a lot tougher than yoga’s going to teach us to do all by ourselves.”

    and people take what’s on Fox seriously? I mean, other than the Tea Baggers and Rethuglicans?

    toughen up? really? I saw naga babas at the Kumbh Mela throw Indian cops into the Ganges when they got pissed. and their yoga practice is NOT asana based.

    I’d like to see this guy live up in the Himalayas in just a loin cloth. we’ll see who’s a wuss then.

  • peter gariepy

    Larry Winget, you’re right, I’m a wuss. Join me in bikram sometime for a bit, I’m glad to demonstrate. :)

  • If yoga makes people wussie then I am THE BOSS of wuss. I issued a challenge to my local FOX affiliate to do a plank-off. Or even to just sit in padmasana, virasana—or hell, even a chair— and just focus on a simple meditation for an hour. They haven’t accepted (yet). because you know—yoga and meditation are so wussy!

    yeah, yeah. I know it’s not about competition. I do. For me, my physical yoga practice is where I put myself back together after I push myself too hard in extreme or endurance sports. I teach a physically therapeutic approach, offering yoga as a skillful way of attending to the many and varied and sometimes conflicting needs of the body-mind. But my sports (road racing and mountain bike racing) aren’t even sports according to these guys. If there’s no ball or team or points then you must be a wussie. By that standard, the Tour de France is not a sport and those guys are wussies (well, they DO shave their legs….). Winter Olympics are wussie too, except perhaps hockey and curling (there’s a ball-ish thing, and a team of two).

    But, yes, I know this isn’t about sports. Or yoga. It’s about a troll selling a few books, sponsored by FOX News. It’s about attitudes and values. And I know, I know… I should rise above. But I am not so enlightened. I like to meet people where they are.

    I’d *really* like to meet the FOX News team on the mat. I got their wussie right here.

    Stay wussie, y’all.

  • SoBeach

    Fox News caters to rigid, ideologically driven, uninformed, misinformed, angry bigots. Always has. Bits like this don’t surprise me in the least.

  • Thank you for posting this article. We’ve been working with athletes for over a decade and have the stats to prove that yoga works.
    What’s great about this new piece is that it keeps the yoga debate alive and actually only shows that those who are sceptics haven’t practiced yoga or experienced the benefits.
    We deliver yoga to athletes all over the world and the tide is turning. Yoga continues to evolve and adapt as it has been doing for the past 5,000 years – so are we worried? I don’t think so.
    Bring it on!

  • steph

    IGNORANCE at it’s BEST !!! but it’s Fox of course. Assholes!!! They definitely need yoga.

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