Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

Excellent feature on Anusara yoga founder John Friend in this Sunday's upcoming NYT Magazine. The piece hits on all the hot topics in American yoga right now: branding and commodification, status symbols and the messy project of self-marketing, the phenomenon of rockstar teachers and how that fits with the ethics of yoga, philosophy and spirituality vs. athleticism and physicality, etc.

I'm not hugely familiar with the Anusara style, although its close alignment [pun intended] with the Iyengar tradition tends to make me think I've made the right choice in sticking with the more fluid, dance-like vinyasa. But I'll admit I'm seriously intrigued by this article's respective comparisons of Friend to cheesy evangelical slickster Joel Osteen and that icon of capitalistic self-improvement himself, Horatio Alger. Erghh. I wiggled uncomfortably in my seat a little on seeing both of those references.

Yipes. I could write a dissertation or six here. But I won't. So just read it.

The Yoga Mogul (NYT Magazine)


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