Once upon a time, a woman climbed onto the middle of train tracks for a totally epic yoga photo. Eat your heart out, Instagram yogis! Yes, it was extremely dangerous. Yes, thankfully the woman is OK. And yes, she was tracked down by the police and arrested.
The overzealous Instagrammer, identified as 26-year-old Holly Bentley of Falls Church VA posed on the very active DC Metro train tracks last December to much fanfare. She shared the photo on her Instagram account but it wasn’t until security footage was released as part of a local NBC News report on track trespassers that the police got involved.
For some reason it took DC’s Metro Transit Police almost a year to catch up with Bentley but they finally did on October 6, when she was arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing warrant.
Though the shoot reportedly lasted only a few minutes, that doesn’t take away from the illegal trespassing, not to mention the cockamamy idea that doing a handstand right next to the electrified third rail and in the way of oncoming trains sounded like a solid plan.
Bentley is scheduled to appear in court later this month. The photographer is apparently still on the loose.
Did she get booted from her latest yoga teacher training with no partial refund in sight? Did she retain her students and/or job standing (whatever discipline she teaches – particularly if she is a public school K-12 educator) Enquiring minds want to know …
Naaah, she probably teaches nothing to anybody …
Why should I assume she molds people’s minds.
Just a narcissist …
Hands too wide, neck cranked, elbows bent, photo from the front not side to hide the arch…it’s a yoga handstand. At least she made an effort to point her toes.
Clearly nothing bad happened as a result of her bit of excitement so arresting her seems more a matter of a lazy way to improve crime-arrest statistics than achieve anything useful.
Oh well, the yoga police can rest comfortable in the knowledge she was eventually punished for daring to enjoy herself a bit.
Give it a rest, John. I certainly do not like yoga teachers using stunts for self-promotion and personal gain.
And Genevieve, I’ll go you two better, I do not think a lot of revenue, market expansion, yoga and stunts go together. Even Yoga Alliance (as if they feel they should) does not care about all this.
I’m sure your views on how yoga teachers should behave in their spare time weigh heavily on every single one of them. Nice to see that you can read their minds and see their motives. Of course, I can do that too and see your motive is envy.
I notice it’s always young white skinned women that come in for this sort of flak. That Indian guy who does yoga poses on a motorbike and wants to be famous? He’s a spiritual guro. Some girl decides to hop up into a (not technically very good) handstand? She’s a traitor to the purity of yoga. Iyengar never shut up about his celebrity students. Pictures of him with the great and good all over his studio. Swenson’s book photos are one stunt after another. All those carefully styled shots of middle aged women in a basic yoga pose designed to show how spiritual and superior to physical movement the subject is you see on class posters every where? They’re much more about image and promotion and personal gain than this.
She needs to practice a bit, preferably with a real handstand coach, not a yoga teacher, and she needs to continue having fun once in a while. She does not need to get arrested just because a bunch of people who want to feel superior about their deep understanding of yoga make so much noise the police have to pay attention
Plain and simple: she should be arrested because what she is doing is very unsafe and there is a law against it. People get electrocuted and run over for climbing on tracks. Maybe an expensive citation will deter her from doing something so asinine again.
I don’t think yoga and stunt belong together.
You have certainly “done me two better”. I am sorry that my expressing my opinion created a need for you to “do me better”.
You can’t be happy even if someone wholeheartedly agrees with you. I so agree with you that your opinions are a subset of the worthy opinion. That is, that yoga is, should and can be free; and that it can be free of pyrotechnics …. and that it is available to all.
Who has to be the guru?
The photographer is her husband, without whose encouragement and camera, she would never have done it.
I wrote about this for the Washington Post, which decided not to run the column, apparently because the editor considered it a yoga “hit piece.” Could it be because she teaches yoga in her spare time?
The longer I have been on this earth, the more respect I have for the Boys — and Girls — in Blue. Apparently, they don’t consider female narcissism a alibi, much less a lifelong avocation.
On the evidence here I’m inclined to agree with the post.
What exactly have the police achieved by arresting her? The only damage her photo caused was to the egos of those desperate to identify themselves as too spiritual for their hobby/job to be associated with it by sharing the name “yoga”.
She had an idea she thought would make a fun photo and acted on it. Frankly, yoga needs a lot more people thinking “wouldn’t it be cool to…” And a lot fewer trying to prove their worth by judging the people having fun.
Okay, I’ll take the bait. One of her “students” comes forward (I guess). Otherwise, Kirtans, this could be the makings of a short story or one-act play …
Tell Yelp! all about it, and let the few remaining consumerists make an educated choice. Caveat Emptor. Although I could doubt it’s “yoga” that she “teaches”, the interpretation remains in the eye of the beholder. Notwithstanding the fact that I cannot know, writing from a place in which the closest tracks that look like that, belong to the Long Island Rail Road.
To me, it is more a stunt than yoga. I prefer to do yoga in a peaceful place :).
Surely the reason she got arrested was to establish a deterrent. I assume that law enforcement did not enjoy the Instagram posts implying that one can violate laws with not just impunity, but good PR. The police also have to consider the risk of nut-job copycats who could harm themselves and disrupt the transit system.
I couldn’t care less about the yoga/narcissism issue. Do what you wanna do, but deal with the consequences if it’s illegal. And I’ve always said that if there were no narcissism in the yoga industry, there *wouldn’t be* a “yoga industry”! (Incidentally, note the various yogalebrities and companies addressed in Ms. Bentley’s cited post.)
Also, given the one-year delay, I suspect that the decision to arrest was made not by the police, but by someone in City Hall (City Council, Dept. of Tourism, etc.). I work for a municipality, and it’s easy to imagine city officials wanting to discourage such stunts.
“What exactly have the police achieved by arresting her? ” Here’s the deal , John. That narcissist would have fucked up the commute for thousands of commuters in DC if she got hit by a train, and anyone that does that should get the death sentence (yogically speaking). Glad she got arrested for being so stupid and selfish.
Nah, she picked her time, no one was inconvenienced except the pious more yogic than thou mob. “Could have” point is it didn’t happen so she’s not as irresponsible as is being claimed.
A year after the event some one, somewhere felt she made them look silly so they decided to have her arrested – officialdom saving face, not justice being served. Frankly, this was the real risk she ran…
Pull your head out of the sand! Do you know how many young people die a year from being–a quite literally- “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” i.e. on train tracks. People really underestimate how dangerous it is.