If you’re a fan of our Hot off the Mat features, you know that there was never a dull moment in the yoga world this year. From controversial teachers to sexy celebs singing yoga’s praises (hi there, Miranda Kerr and Adam Levine), 2012 was a big year for yoga. Read on for alignyo’s biggest yoga moments of 2012.
We like to keep it light here at alignyo HQ, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the biggest yoga controversies of the year: the John Friend Anusara yoga scandal. From reports of Wiccan sex rites to questionable handling of money, John Friend’s fall from grace is still making headlines, especially since he recently "came back" as a hatha yoga teacher.
The yoga celebrity of the year
Celebrities doing yoga hasn’t been news since Madonna talked about ashtanga on Oprah back in 1998. Still, we’re a sucker for a celebrity who credits yoga for helping them get their life on track. This year’s biggest yoga transformation: Russell Brand. From sex addict to studio owner, Russell was all over the media talking about how yoga saved him. Om Shanti, Russell.
The Jane Fonda of yoga
Meeting a rich, handsome man who loves you and yoga? Hilaria Thomas Baldwin probably provided hope for lots of single yoginis in 2012. For better or worse, she was thrown into the spotlight this year when she became 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin’s wife, and word has it, she’ll be staying in the spotlight as Alec sees her becoming the next Jane Fonda. A talk show? DVDs? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Yoga video of the year
Briohny Smyth’s "The Contortionist" yoga video for Equinox had people who had abandoned their yoga practice wiping the dust off their mats and getting into the studio. The video featuring Briohny’s beautiful practice went viral and while it served as inspiration for many yogis, it also sparked a series of video spoofs and controversy over body image and yoga in the media.
They said what?
Not everything yoga in 2012 was controversial. In fact, there were some downright funny moments that had us chuckling with our yoga buddies after class. After the "Sh*t Girls Say" video launched a billion (seriously, just look at YouTube) knock-off versions, lululemon came up with a clever "Sh*t Yogis Say" video. We laughed (and cringed with embarrassment) at how accurate some of this sh*t is.
You probably shouldn't do yoga
Perhaps the biggest yoga news story of the year came from the New York Times back in January. “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,” claimed that most of us put ourselves in danger practicing yoga and included some pretty scary (and extreme) circumstances of devoted yogis who developed serious medical problems. The article caused quite a commotion and everyone from some of the biggest names in yoga to the small town student chimed in, so much so that the Times had to turn off the comment section.