Tuesday, April 18, 2006

As those who read my weekly column “Yoga Hustla” know, I have the thumb, index, middle, ring and pinkie fingers of my left hand grasped firmly around the carotid artery of the yoga world. There is not the slightest tremor on Indra’s many-jeweled net that is not picked up and published by yours truly, and even as you read this, I’m working the right arm around the head for a crushing sleeper hold.

So doubtless all will be as excited as I am with this week’s veritable treasure find---the contract rider of one of the world’s biggest celebrity yoga teachers!

A contract rider accompanies a performing artist’s or celebrity’s contract to appear in public, and includes specifications on stage design, sound systems, lighting rigs, as well as the artist's wish list---from transportation and billing to dressing room accommodations and meals.

What does this big-time yoga celebrity, who I shall call “YOGA TEACHER” for fear of both legal and physical retribution, require to show up at your shala to teach the kids downward dog? And who could it possibly be? I'll never tell, so read on, o yogi …


This rider to the contract date _____ by and between YOGA TEACHER (hereinafter referred to as "THE ARTIST") and _____ (hereinafter referred to as "THE YOGA SHALA") for the engagement is made part of the setting-forth of additional terms and conditions to attached contract.

1. One LARGE BASKET of WHITE FLOWER PETALS (any genus) to be strewn at ARTIST’S feet during the “Grand Entrance.” Shala owners responsible for flower petal clean up.

2. One NEW LARGE MANDUKA BLACK MAT, to be laid at front of shala, surrounded by AMBER-SCENTED CANDLES and wiped down with scented SANDALWOOD OIL.

3. Photographs and videos will be allowed in special "MEDIA AREA" to be set up facing ARTIST'S LEFT SIDE. All photos or video must be approved by ARTIST’S PUBLICITY AGENT.

4. Pyrotechnic requirements during ARTIST’S bandha demonstration to be paid for by shala owners and to include:
One smudge pot
Three M-80 firecrackers
Smoke machine with dry ice

5. Workshop accommodation requirements include a dressing room separated from main yoga shala by a door with lock (henceforth to be referred to as “VIP ROOM.”)

6. TOUR MANAGER to be supplied with five “VIP PASSES” to permit entry to “VIP ROOM.”

7. At ARTIST’S discretion, select workshop attendees may be invited to “VIP ROOM” for specific and individual bandha adjustments and to participate in various Tantric practices.

8. VIP ROOM craft services table to include:
One bowl of M&Ms---all red M&Ms to be removed!!! [Sic]
One vat Tiger Balm, large
12 bottles de-ionized, charcoal-filtered, glacier-drip water served at room temperature
6 unbleached organic hypo-allergenic cotton towels with thread count of 500 or greater
One large bowl (two cups) brown rice
One bowl steamed veggies, to include broccoli, chard, burdock root, carrots, beets, kale
One extra-large bag of chocolate chocolate chip cookies
One extra-thick bar of Toblerone dark chocolate

8. Workshop organizers will arrange an autograph signing to take place immediately after workshop and not to exceed 15 minutes.

9. Workshop organizers will provide 100 prints of ARTIST’S headshot, to be purchased at $5 per photo prior to workshop, and 100 copies of ARTIST’S 2006 calendar, to be purchased at $10 per copy.

10. The following items are the ONLY that ARTIST will sign:
Yoga mats
ARTIST’S head shot
The current month’s LULULEMON ad featuring ARTIST (Note: But NOT any previous months'!)
ARTIST’S 2006 calendar
ARTIST’S book.

11. Questions NOT TO BE ASKED of ARTIST at any time during workshop:
“Are you Certified?”
“Are you still teaching Madonna?”
“Can you do kapotasana?”