Monday, July 6, 2009

Remember the 90s?

Let's see, there was Slick Willy, DJ Jazzy Jeff, flannel, and my glorious high school days. It was the 90s, and it was also the decade when yoga practice really broke in this country in a big way. There was Madonna doing a Sun Salutation on Oprah (couldn't find a clip - I tried!) and an overall explosion of yoga practice on the west coast. In particular, people discovered Ashtanga yoga (though a few Westerners had been doing it since the 70s). Check out this recently unearthed article (scanned, .pdf) from Yoga Journal in 1995 on the new craze of Ashtanga yoga. Note the baby-faced Sharath as well as the description of the first two American Ashtangis' time in Mysore: practicing both the first and second series twice each day (I think that qualifies as a Vinyasa IV class)!

Also mentioned in the article is Bryan Kest, who mostly invented Power Yoga (or at least invented the idea of peddling it to celebrities) and sold it during the 90's with the torn jeans, bandana-around-wild-hair, Color-Me-Badd-boy look. Below is what seems to be a public access show interview with him. Dazzling production value aside, note the surfer diction and the Bill-and-Ted wisdom: "I don't just want people to get into ME, but to get into YOGA." You've gotta love it, along with the brief clips of his Power Yoga video, featuring jean cutoffs over long johns and that gorgeous hair. Did I mention the hair? (note: Bryan has many yoga books and videos, one of which is called "Long, Slow, & Deep" - how many think he told THIS reporter ALL about it shortly after this interview? *rim shot*) Not to rip on Bryan, though: if you haven't tried one of his videos, you should (you can find them through the library system): they will whoop yo' ass, and usually feature a good number of very ripped models who seem to be extremely surprised at how difficult the class is.

Up next: Minneapolis!!

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