I had a conversation some months back with a power yoga teacher, in which it was suggested to me to consider playing music during class. "People love hearing good music!" she said.
If I played music, I asked, how then could people hear their own breath? Alas, I believe this suggestion fell on deaf ears, as it were.
It did get me thinking, though, about the various niches and demographics that not just Yoga but Ashtanga Yoga could invade, penetrate, or insert some your favorite masculine-encoded corporate term.
All we have to do is jettison this notion of lineage and tradition. God knows, the marketplace could certainly use several more Yoga For Insert Title Here.
I present now a series of marketing ideas that for sure will make my Ashtanga DVDs Target and Wal-Mart best-sellers.
1. Ashtanga Crossfit
I see 400 meter sprints between sun salutations, rope-climb uth-pluthi, and 45-pound weight vests in class; binding might be challenging during the twisting postures, but then I understand the Crossfit people love difficulty.
2. Ashtanga for MMA
Look, laying aside this whole ahimsa yama (clearly ridiculous), this is a no-brainer, given the overwhelming popularity of MMA and Ultimate Fighting. I envision people moving through sun salutations and standing postures while their teacher attempts to punch, kick and otherwise hurl them to the ground. Consider the lucrative merchandising tie-ins — we could see a Tap Out sticky mat! Also, imagine the quality of your ujjayi breathing when someone has you in a choke hold!
3. Ashtanga for Fixed-gear Bike RidersI don't really have any thoughts about what the practice would look like, but I had spun out various titles like "Ashtanga for Pabst Drinkers," "Ashtanga for Mustaches," and "Ashtanga for Williamsburgers, Portlanders, and Silverlakers." Basically, they all amounted to Ashtanga for hipsters. Though it has always seemed to me that the term hipster is such a cliche.
Also, I can't front on dudes with Pendleton flannels and neck tattoos who like to drink shitty beer, skateboard and ride fixed-gear bikes and home-made choppers. (Hits a little close to home.)
4. Ashtanga for Stockbrokers
The beauty of this is that I don't change the series or sequences at all — I just market to stockbrokers, high-power corporate execs, beleaguered lawyers, and basically anyone in a high-stress, exhausting job. Then I simply shout at them more.
5. Ashtanga for Free Spirits
The beauty of this is that, again, I do not change the series or sequence at all — I just market to jam-band-concert-goers, hoopers, Burners, and any and all Patchouli-wearers. Then I simply tell them they're beautiful more.