Can't seem to stay in shape? Maybe get some inspiration from a crappy movie

In our self-involved culture, there are a lot of really sad things, but perhaps none sadder than the continued corruption of yoga as a spiritual discipline. First, there was pilates, in which we conveniently removed the gobblety-gook "religious" component and made it a workout for businesspeople on the go, like the Godhead was some kind of skim-milk latte you could go ahead and pour into a disposable paper cup. Now, we apparently also need a lame movie tie-in to make it interesting.

For the last couple of weeks, fitness blog Healthy Self has been running a series called the Eat Pray Love Project, where editor Jenny Everett distills tips gleaned from Julia Roberts about how you can use the ancient Hindu art to burn off a few calories after you eat too much. Thanks, levitating monks! Now I can have as much chocolate as I want!

It makes sense, in a way. After all, the Eat Pray Love was basically about a little enlightenment on the run, broken down into sound bites you can easily remember, such as: "Participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings," and "diligent joy." In terms of narrative, it was basically the "Phrase-a-day" calendar your mom keeps in the kitchen to keep herself from drowning her own sorrow in tranquilizers, plus a story about a wealthy woman coming to terms with her own existential crisis through a lavish vacation and a Brazilian man-toy.

So what the hell. As long as we're cheapening the sacred already, why not throw in a tie-in that traffics in the same schlock?

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte