Heads up New Yorkers, if you blink you could miss Tara Stiles doing yoga in a glass box on wheels. You heard that right. Celeb “rebel yoga” teacher, Tara Stiles, is promoting her new “FIT with Tara Stiles” yoga program at W Hotels by traveling around NYC all day in a “Yoga Truck” where her yoga show is on display for all the lucky city folks to see in a somewhat unfortunate caged-animal scenario. Because a skinny, model-y white woman doing yoga in a box for everyone else to gawk at isn’t a metaphor for anything. Nope. (Sometimes we have to wonder if we’re all on some sort of Yoga Candid Camera.)
Described by the W as “one part performance art and one part yoga instruction,” the Yoga Truck is just the latest in what we would call a heinous crime against humanity. OK, maybe that’s a bit much, but wow is this a disturbing bit of counterproductive publicity (in the vein of Lululemon’s putting practitioners in the windows of their stores to do the yoga, as it were).
No one can blame Stiles for being thin and pretty, but that’s not the point. She’s a pleasant, nice person, and that’s not the point either. The gal has seen her fair share of criticism for watering down yoga and sensationalizing the practice with her books, ads and sponsorships, and really hasn’t seemed to care much about it. Maybe that’s the rebel part.
Still, performing yoga in a box as a stunt so that people are inspired to do their own practice at your hotels? We don’t get it. And respectfully disagree. But it’s certainly sexy. And we guess sex sells, even (especially?) in yoga.
Contests are sexy, too. The W is holding an Instagram photo contest where entrants must post pics of Stiles-in-the-box or of themselves doing yoga “in a unique location” with the hashtag #POSEWHENEVER. The winner gets to go to the “FIT with Tara Stiles” fancy spa retreat at the W Bali.
Here’s the promo image from the W’s website. We’re not sure which pose this is, exactly:
Or this one, posted this morning to the W Hotel Instagram account with the caption: “Morning yoga with @TaraStiles at @whotelsnyc. Find Tara’s nontraditional tips for staying fabulously fit on the road in all W rooms and suites across the world.#POSEWHENEVER”
Hm. If non-traditional means morning yoga on the couch in high heels accompanied by champagne and disco lights then, geez, consider us righteous pious puritans.
So far the contest entries are fairly tame, some are even sweet, but. Come. On. Listen, we love this yoga is everywhere, you can do it wherever, whenever sentiment, because it’s true! But when it starts to turn into a show, a game, a contest, when it becomes a spectacle, does it not then become a mockery? A shell of its former self?
So what is “Fit With Tara Stiles,” anyway? It’s the W’s first ever fitness program that will be launched in all 45 of their worldwide hotels and resorts, according to the official press release:
In partnership with the industry’s yoga rebel, FIT with Tara Stiles flips the traditional idea of fitness on its head with a non-traditional approach to working out while on the road. Comprised of a curated in-room workout video designed for the needs of the W traveler, in-room tip cards with quick fixes to get camera-ready in a flash, and an exclusive series of intimate FIT with Tara Stiles packages available at some of the most glamorous W Retreats around the world, the program allows guests to polish their body and mindset in a uniquely W way.
Eerie. That sounds EXACTLY like how we’d describe yoga. (sarcasm alert.)
Here’s how Tara Stiles describes the program:
“It was the best kind of challenge, getting myself into the fitness mindset of the W guest,” said Stiles. “By identifying their needs and wants in a workout, I was able to create four unusual, fun, glamorous workouts that can be done whenever, wherever anywhere in the world.”
Thank goodness. Our yoga could use a glamour boost. Then again, we’re probably not glamorous enough for W Hotels anyway. Sad face.
What are the needs and wants of W patrons? Here are the workouts with which hotel guests can perk up and quickly fix their flaws:
– Need a Boost? Whether you want to kick-start your day or night, give your
body an energetic lift with a quick yoga fix. Try dancer pose for an
instant surge of vitality.
– Feeling Jet-Lagged? Get relaxed and ready to rock straight from the
runway with a quick yoga fix. Try pigeon pose to open your hips and
soothe your back.
– Big Night Out? Get amped for evening by adding a quick yoga fix to your
primping routine. Try an easy side stretch to get you relaxed and ready
– Need to Recover? Whether feeling tired or had one-too-many the night
before, amp up energy with a quick yoga fix. Try an easy, seated twist
for an instant boost.
Cute. Sexy. Cool. Kind of like a pop song. And there’s something to be said for pop music. Sure it’s sugary and mostly meaningless, but it reaches the masses and it invites everyone to participate. This is probably the best thing about the FIT program offering, even if the “quick fix” idea makes us frustrated and sad. The marketing campaign, on the other hand…We ask: If you want to be unique and stand out, why box yourself in?
In case you were curious, if you move quickly there’s still time to catch the Mobile Yoga Show. Schedule below. Yoga’s on wheels. Is this where we want it to be headed?
W Yoga Truck Stops on May 28
11:15 AM– Leave W New York
11:20 AM– Fairchild Publications
11:45 AM — Conde Nast
12:10 PM — Hearst Corporation
12:35 PM — Columbus Circle
1:00 PM — W New York – Times Square
1:45 PM — Central Park South
2:10 PM — Grand Central
2:35 PM — Bryant Park Loop
3:00 PM — New York Public Library
3:25 PM — Broadway and Spring (SoHo)
3:50 PM — W New York – Downtown
4:35 PM — Wall Street
5:00 PM — Brooklyn Bridge
5:25 PM — Manhattan Bridge
5:50 PM — Washington Square Loop
6:15 PM — Flatiron Building/Madison Square Loop
6:40 PM — Union Square Loop
7:05 PM — END at W New York – Union Square
[via Hotel Chatter]
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