Do you practice yoga? I do. I freaking love it. I used to practice Bikram yoga – you know, the one where they turn up the heat to 1 million degrees so that everyone in the class drips with sweat and there is a lingering smell of feet in the room? It sounds questionable but it always made me feel really, really good – and when I first got into it, I even took a class with Gina Gershon one time at a studio down in Soho. Anyway, they don’t recommend the hot torture chamber for pregnant women so I am happily now enrolled in prenatal classes at my hospital with this amazing woman, Janet who is also a doula. All the parts that hurt during the day are eased, and I find myself believing that I can actually handle child birth. So in honor of my love for yoga, and in much the same spirit of my blog from a few weeks ago (I’ve since seen the Seinfeld episode where George gets massaged by a man on TBS), I present my list of Favorite Pop Culture Yoga Scenes.
Top spot has to go to the yoga scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Do you know this movie? Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) loses his girlfriend Kristen Bell (Google “Kristin Bell loves sloths” if you haven’t already) to English pop star Russel Brand (when we liked him) and hilarity ensues. They all end up at a resort in Hawaii together (Turtle Bay resort on Oahu – I’ve been, it’s amazing), and in a yoga class with none other than the ingenious Kristen Wiig as their instructor. Her name is Prana and she gives Segel’s character a very hard time while basically fawning over Brand’s. She manages to embody everything that you kinda dislike about yoga teachers (all-knowingness, insistence in all things healthy) while still making you laugh. Well done, Prana.
Next, I’m going to make a much more obscure reference. Ever watch the Showtime series Dexter? I’m presently catching up on all previous seasons on Netflix before season 7 debuts later this year. The series follows the life of Dexter Morgan, a psychopathic nice-guy who murders bad-guys to quell his urgency to well, kill everything. Without giving away too much to anyone who might want to go down the Netflix path, during season 3, Dexter finds himself at a yoga class with girlfriend Rita. In mid Warrior 2, Dexter’s inner monologue declares “This is absolutely, without a doubt, the worst moment of my life,” until the classically earthy instructor asks the class to just dance in place. Later, when she approaches him and says to “be as beautiful as the golden flakes of dust around you,” his inner monologue pops up again to point out “I could probably kill her before anyone realized what happened.” Just made me laugh and redefined why I will never ask my husband to take a yoga class with me.
The next one I’m going to leave mostly to the imagination so as not to offend any of my readers. Anyone remember a certain SNL skit from the 00s staring Tobey McGuire as a yoga instructor and Will Ferrell as an overeager yoga student? Let’s just say that after 3 years of practice, Will finally masters the task and attains the flexibility he set out to accomplish when he first began taking yoga. The ladies in the room are disgusted while the men in the room simply want to know how. Gross and classically funny Ferrell.
There are others – I remember a funny trailer for Couple’s Retreat that featured a yoga scene, and I know the Jackass series did something funny in a yoga class one time, but the ones above are the ones I know and love. If you’ve seen those scenes or not, tell us which of these yoga practicing characters is your favorite.
Pete – Jason Segel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Dexter – Michael C. Hall from Dexter
Yoga Guy – Will Ferrell from Saturday Night Live
For the latest pop culture news and voting, make sure to sign up for the People’s Choice newsletter!