By guest author Lucinda Staniland
You’d think an afternoon spent on Youtube watching Yoga video parodies would be a good time. A great time even.
But it wasn’t.
In fact it was draining. And my quest to find ‘The Ten Best Yoga Video Parodies’ quickly became ‘The Ten Best Yoga Video Parodies (That Don’t Suck)’ and finally left me quietly fuming on ‘Why Funny Yoga Videos Actually Aren’t Funny At All’.
So there I was, trawling through the Internets bountiful supply of Yoga spoofs and parodies, and finding them less and less funny.
I found myself making excuses for why I found these yoga video parodies so lame.
I just don’t have much of a sense of humour.
I’m overly sensitive.
I take things too seriously.
I must have missed the point.
Every video seemed to rely on the same worn out New Age/Yoga/Spiritual jokes. It was exhausting watching the same laughs being flogged again and again.
But what really started to bug me was the aggressive and unmistakable streak of sexism and misogyny.
I watched video after video about these silly, beautiful, ditzy, utterly ridiculous, female yogis in mild shock.
These women were being consistently objectified and ridiculed. They were desirable, and men wanted them, but they were also something to be pitied and laughed, so easily had they been conned in this pseudo-spiritual world.
These women made fools of themselves in their blind belief in everything yoga, and their need to buy and spend to climb the spiritual ladder, and contort themselves into strange postures.
These women were young, lovely, and long haired. I saw a lot of their bodies, their long legs, their butts, their necks, their arms.
Oh those skinny, obsessive, sexy, stupid women men love to chase and hate on. We’re an easy target aren’t we?
I know I’m particularly sensitive to the stereotype of the vegetarian hippy in tight colorful yoga pants with her long blonde hair flowing down her back. I’ve been that stereotype. I’ve actively tried to be that stereotype.
So when I watch these videos what I think is:
They’re about me. They’re about me, and my vanity, and my vulnerability as a woman.
So it’s close to home for me. All of this. And that definitely biases my opinion. And I don’t normally condemn well, anything really . But actually, honestly… Some of these Yoga parodies really pissed me off. I wanted to call the article The Six Most Irritating Yoga Parodies. But nobody would be searching for that on Google, so Best it had to be.
And yes, the quips about goji berries, and hanging out with the sherpas of Nepal, and ‘Have you tried this green smoothie yet?’ are all well and good. I’m all for poking a bit of fun at the commercialism that has taken over the yoga world.
But most of these Yoga parodies aren’t a satirical commentary on the commercialization and sexualisation of yoga. They’re a toxic byproduct.
And they don’t represent real ‘Yoga women’ at all.
They don’t represent our diversity, or the different kinds of bodies we inhabit. They don’t represent the hurt and struggle that may have bought us to Yoga, or that we process through our practice, and they definitely don’t represent the depth of our practice, our skill, our knowledge, our commitment and our relationship to other yoginis.
Where are the powerful yoga women? I want to see clever and satirical yoga parodies that comment on the status quo rather than just leveraging it and going for the easiest and most obvious target (female yoga practitioners).
Because if the current Yoga parodies out there are the only option I’d rather have the real life cliches. They’re much less irritating and more interesting than the spoof versions of them.
There are some good yoga spoofs out there, and I’ve included my (sadly very short) Best Yoga Parodies list below.
And the worst?
Judge them for yourself.
The 6 Best Yoga Parodies (switch out Best for Most Irritating…)
1. Yoga Girl
Young dudes in baseball caps sing about trying to date ‘Yoga girls’. Expect lots of breasts, butts, sexualized yoga poses, and sleazy rhymes:
“Lady yoga, I sure would love to get to know you. I got a couple next level poses I can show you”
2. How to Fake That You Do Yoga (Including the “Dry Martini Pose”)
Vanity Fair’s guide to getting (female) yogis into bed asserts that while no one in the Yoga world knows what they are doing, they’re generally pretty hot and worth putting time and effort into pursuing and manipulating.
3. Shit Yogis Say
Silly women say silly things.
4. Stressed Out Yoga Chick
Silly woman does silly things.
5. “The Inappropriate Yoga Guy”
A prospective male yoga teacher sexually harrasses a female student, including inappropriate adjustments and touching. She says no. Multiple times. But he just keeps going.
With over 2 million views on Youtube I was surprised this wasn’t at least a little bit more funny.
It does feature a pretty good ‘surprise OM’ at 1.30 but other than that it’s not really worth your time.
6. Yoga Pants
This video was posted to our Twitter account by Tim Tom himself when we tweeted about #YogaPants.
Yes, yoga pants fetishes are a thing. And yes, this video features many, many shots of women’s bottoms.
Actually I don’t mind this video so much. At least there’s a mix of different shapes and sizes of booties, and a certain respect for the women attached to them, but it comes only with a very sexualised tinge.
Ladies, we’re about more than just our tight pants! (Even if we do look great in them)
Top 2 Not-Too-Bad Yoga Parodies
1. Inside the Yogi’s Mind
The Bondi Hispters have become well known for their series of video clips parodying the lives of ‘hipsters’ and their explorations into the Yoga World are actually pretty good.
They have a knack for taking the piss out of the pretentiousness (and diffiuculty) of Yoga without making women (or men) look stupid.
Their best is ‘Inside the Yogi’s Mind’ video in Adrian finds himself somehow tuned in to the inane internal dialogues of everyone in the class, including the sexy male yoga teacher.
Yoga Farts is also great and leaves us with a fantastic faux-yogic parting line.
Farts are only funny in your first lifetime. Get some lifetimes
2. The Yoga by Equinox Parody
Here at The Yoga Lunchbox we’ve talked a lot about flawless yoga images and videos that don’t represent what real yogis look like.
Case in point was the Yoga by Equinox video which got a lot of heat for being ‘too sexy’.and unrealistic. That’s sure not what our morning Yoga practice looks like!
So I was surprised that I found this Yoga by Equinox parody so affecting. Not so much for it’s comedic value, but more because it really was quite beautiful to watch a normal, middle-aged, slightly pudgy dude doing Yoga.
Even though it’s set up as a spoof, the comedian in the video has been practicing Yoga for a long time and you can see it.
I know there are many, many more Yoga parodies out there.
If you know of any good ones send them my way, but you can keep your lame, sexist, cliched Yoga parodies far away from me. I’ve had more than enough.