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Watch: ‘Om City’ Takes A Deeper Look Into The Precarious Adventures Of Yoga Teaching

in YD News, Yoga Pop


Have you seen this show yet? It’s a web series about yoga. No, wait! Come back! Seriously. When we first heard of “Om City” we thought, ‘oh cool, another yoga web series.’ But we’re relieved to say we were pleasantly surprised by this one – there’s honest writing, a relatable story line (especially if you’re a yoga teacher, and double if you’re a yoga teacher in NYC), and well-constructed production – a major help to the flow of the show.

At first, the “struggle of the modern yoga teacher” may feel like a flimsy and trite theme, but “Om City,” a kickstarter-funded project which launched online August 30th, is as engaging and multi-layered as you might hope a show about yoga-teaching life would be, for better or worse. There’s the reality of running around the city to teach 20-something classes a week in order to make a living, the sometimes creepy and inappropriate private clients, the internal battles of self-doubt and insecurity, the lingering family issues added in.

There’s definitely some drama, but don’t worry, there are plenty of laughable moments, too, like when the yoga studio owner, an ex-Wall Street guy capitalizing on the yoga boom, says “Om” is too much of a “chanty thing” scaring people off (why not do a “silent om” instead?), and of course the infamous yoga fart makes a magical appearance. Cue the eye rolls and the giggles.

It helps that “Om City” is the brainchild of Tom O’Brien (writer/director) and Jessie Barr (co-creator/series main character) who also happen to both be yoga teachers who met while teaching at Elena Brower’s (now shuttered) Virayoga. (They’re also engaged to be married, which is cute.) Other featured guest stars include Chris Messina (“The Mindy Project”), Louis Cancelmi (“Boardwalk Empire”), Mike Godere (“The Affair”) all lending their talents to the show’s good and believable acting. Even Brower is an impressive actress, making a cameo appearance in episode two (though, granted, she’s playing herself).

Each of the seven episodes is under 10 minutes so you’ll whip through the whole season in about an hour, which, even in speedy internet time, is worth it. We hear there’s talk of a season two and we can’t say we’re mad.

Watch the first episode below and catch the entire series online here.




14 comments… add one
  • Looks worth seeing! And it seems it is available in Bali too (vimeo sometimes doesn’t work) 🙂

  • So far, the most worthwhile yoga production I have seen.

  • tiniertina

    They are darling, in that series. I would not have thought so, had I still been involved with yoga. Takes an outsider’s perspective to fully appreciate the lack of parodic feel to this series.

    I hate outright parodists, unless they share my politics.

  • Dwayne

    Wow, this is pretty good, and much more professionally/slickly produced than the other yoga web series I’ve seen. *Very* “New York”, though, so I’m curious about its appeal to non-Gothamites.
    There’s a funny Anusara inside reference in episode 2, when E. Brower says “…turn to Grace…” (I expected “open” instead of “turn!)

    • tiniertina

      The most New York about this is the episode with that b.s. fake European accent and the mercurial temperament of the yoga teacher. The rest is pure mass-transit-city gentrified hipster/artisan/wannabe, anywhere in the Western world … you won’t find Zabar’s or Eli’s or Coney Island here …

  • Joan

    Really? I don’t get it. I watched it and found it not only ridiculously boring, but completely tone deaf. If you are going to use the word “city” in the title with the New York City skyline in the background of the webpage, you might want to represent more than a bunch of attractive young white people. Do we need more stories about thin, blond women representing yoga? Really? As a yoga practitioner in the US, I would be embarrassed if another country got a hold of this and thought this represented yoga in one of the greatest cities in the world. Just because folks get some money behind their production doesn’t necessarily mean their story is worth filming.

    • tiniertina

      Though, in that episode I refer to, above, “Think About Others” don’t young New Yorkers have stardom dreams (sigh)? That yoga teacher starts out hugging our protagonist “thin, young blonde white [hipster] chick” … at the same time, all-out with that fake Italian/Polish/un-placeable Eastern Europe not otherwise specified, accent for the first few phrases … as if trying on/or recollecting a former (or future, wannabe) persona—possibly a soon-to-be NYC answer to mass-media-yogalebrity Travis Elliot waking dream.
      The rage expressed to the businessman just outside: yoga teacher as embodiment of mood-disorder-trying-to-be-healed (via yoga) imperfect person, as mostly New York City dwellers, manifest.
      Needs work to transcend the off-putting stereotypes, but there IS something there …

  • Grace

    I think the whole point of the series is spotlighting how tough it really is to make a living only teaching yoga, as well as the bizarre personalities one runs across as a private teacher. The stars of the show are also the producers and they happen to white, so if any person(s) of color wants to get a kick-starter fund going to show a different perspective then that person(s) should go for it. We could use some yoga series that are not skinny-white-young-hipster-chick based. But no one can give a perspective that is other their own. I for one enjoyed the series, even though i am not young, skinny or hipster. I am old, not-so-skinny and woefully out-of-sync with the times…..but maybe that’s a good thing in regards to yoga.

  • Thay Singh

    sorry folks, i guess i am insufficiently sensitive to the politics and tone. I just love grace & her parents & her brother & the process they are going through…

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