At least we didn’t say circus, right? Right. An article from today’s Washington Post sheds light on the increasingly gimmicky and bells and tassles and whistles and feathers-laden the yoga world has become – essentially a carnival. Without necessarily deciding if this is an inherently “good” or “bad” thing it’s rather fascinating to observe what wild combinations and mutations people have come up with to draw people to fitness and by association/in combination with yoga.
This, says Lori Lowell, is the new yoga: Two DJs on stage, a rapper, perhaps a human beat boxer, and somewhere in the mix, an instructor leading students through an hour’s worth of poses.
Lowell just opened her Gold’s Gym Elite Training Center in DC, a 22,500-square-foot smorgasbord of boxing, jungle gyms, aerial yoga and bubble soccer. It’s an adult romper room utopia, and part of her inspiration? Yoga festivals and yoga studios. Lowell noticed how people wanted to connect on a social level and how they’re always hungry for new and exciting activities with their playmates…er…friends. Hooping is just the tip of the trendy iceberg.
“We decided this new club was going to be a carnival of fitness,” Lowell said. “It’s as much about music and socializing as it is about exercise.”
What we’ve seen at yoga festivals is just the beginning. This is an all-in, three ring event. It’s like if these Brooklyn Yoga Raves got a little more meat-headed, muscle-y and mingle-y. “It’s a complete reconfiguration of what fitness should be,” said Lowell. “We’re trying to create more social environments with really cool couches, a fireplace and a stage for performances.”
Suddenly the yoga in beer breweries thing doesn’t sound so outrageous. Welcome to the new Mardi Gras. Namaste.