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August 5, 2010

I have been super adventurous with our smoothies lately. Since summer produce is rampant, I have been taking advantage of the array of fruits and vegetables we have on hand. This morning’s was especially odd and surprisingly delicious.

Pretty Purple Smoothie

makes enough for 2 pint glasses and a child size cup filled about ¾ of the way

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 beets
  • ½ an avocado
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups raw kale
  • Crushed ice
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (maybe 2 cups?)
  • 1 serving Manitoba Hemp Pro 70

Vita-mixed until gloriously smooth. 🙂

I had a little extra time this morning so I managed to fit in 30 minutes on the elliptical with Yoga Journal and 20 minutes of yoga (sun salutations, the Ashtanga standing poses, wheel, headstand, savasana). All together, I had a wonderful start to my day.

Did anyone notice the letter from Judith Hansen Lasater in this month’s Yoga Journal? While I am sure they are there, I personally have never noticed the naked ads. I thought her letter was well balanced, as she noted that she did enjoy seeing fit women in beautiful postures as much as the next person but thinks there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. I also give Yoga Journal credit for printing her letter. While her letter was pretty specific, it got me thinking about advertising and yoga as a whole.

As a yoga teacher, I find that the prevalence of such images, that depict yoga as a physical art practiced by people whose shapes and postures are unattainable to most, scares people away from trying yoga. I have had tons of people tell me that they can’t do yoga because they aren’t flexible or ask if they can go to a yoga class if they are overweight. They have trouble believing me when I tell them that anyone can practice yoga.  As a yoga teacher I know that sometimes the flexible blonde falls out of her balancing postures, while the overweight man in the back corner is steady as a rock.

The perfect bodies of yoga models certainly highlight the fitness aspect of yoga and many people start practicing yoga in hopes of attaining that elusive yoga figure. Do you think it matters if people practice yoga for the superficial benefits? Personally, I don’t think it matters what brings a person to their mat. I find a lot of people start practicing for the physical benefits and stay committed for the mental benefits. It’s hard not to feel more peaceful, gracious, and calm after hitting your mat. My first yoga teacher/guru always used to say “You may come for a yoga butt, but watch out your practice may transform you from the inside.” So true.

Finally, from a marketing standpoint, I think ads of beautiful, fit women sell products, plain and simple. Pretty yoga images are found in all sorts of publications, and are used to sell everything from dietary supplements to happy meals (I kid you not; I saw the ad in an issue of Family Fun).  We live in a land of free speech and the marketing strategies that follow.  Since many of the companies using yoga images have nothing to do with yoga, it is unlikely that they feel any need to respect the eight limbs. But what are the responsibilities of yoga businesses and publications? Some companies were founded on the premises of yoga and should hold true to their ethics, but they still need to effectively compete with companies that are simply capitalizing on its popularity.

What are your thoughts on yoga and advertising?

P.S. I can’t wait to see Caitlin’s Operation Beautiful segment on the Today Show!!!!!

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