#InternationalYogaDay: 4 Times Hollywood Was Infuriatingly Obnoxious While Depicting Yoga

Yoga has made many believe to embrace Indian culture, all they have to do is learn how to join their hands and pronounce namaste.

Yoga is without doubt, one of India’s most famous exports. It has helped many (majorly) white hipsters from the west, looking for ‘spiritual cleansing’ during their mandatory ‘find-thyself’ trips to India. It has made many believe they could embrace Indian culture, purely by learning to join their hands and pronounce namaste.

“You know how to say namaste? Voila! Tell me how to detox my soul” *sips gin and tonic*

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And Hollywood has taken this too far ahead, and made an absolute mockery of the exercise form in their movies and shows. Here are 4 of the most infuriating examples.

1. Elvis Presley doing yoga in leather pants and boots

Fine, I understand this was the 1960s and there wasn’t enough the kind of information circulation like today, and this was probably when most white Americans were casually racist in the pre-civil rights movement era… but still leather pants and boots? What were you thinking, Elvis?

2. Sex & The City’s Samantha and her misguided notion of finding promiscuous men in Yoga

Another instance of America’s obnoxious and tone-deaf depiction of Yoga, was in the hit TV show Sex And The City (SATC). The character Samantha joins a yoga class, because she thinks good-looking, fit men in the class roam around with DTF signs hanging around their neck. Even more infuriating than Samantha’s notion is the instructor who lights a million candles in his apartment… for ‘enlightenment’. Oh come on!

3. When Couples Retreat mistook getting dry humped by a strange man for a yoga session

It’s a tough ask, when you expect an awful film like Couples Retreat to be measured in their caricatured depiction of yoga. But the way they go absolutely OTT with an instructor resembling George of the Jungle, is what is most disconcerting. Their idea of yoga is letting a strange man slap your buttocks, while also dry humping both men and women.

4. The India-returned pop star in Music & Lyrics making a yoga, shanti and Buddha smoothie! 

The pop star character in Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore-starrer Music & Lyrics, believes in embracing Eastern philosophy to maintain her inner peace. Modelled on Madonna’s kabbalah obsession, this character greets everyone with a namaste and makes music videos about ‘freeing your spirit’ while being surrounded by bare-chested men.  Nope, that’s not what this is about!

No, Hollywood. That’s not how yoga works. Please go destroy something else.