“Namaste, bitches”

Popular web series parodies multibillion-dollar yoga industry

Summer Chastant, creator of the fictional web video series "Namaste, Bitches" at Hollywood Power Yoga in Los Angeles, Dec. 15, 2015. The show, meant to both expose and parody the multibillion-dollar yoga industry, was conceived and produced by Chastant, a former yoga teacher herself, who says the series is a heightened version of her own experience. (Kendrick Brinson/The New York Times)

Summer Chastant, a former yoga teacher, has conceived and produced a web series called “Namaste, Bitches” that exposes and satirizes the multibillion-dollar yoga industry. The series stars Chastant as Sabine, a yoga teacher who snorts lines of cocaine, sleeps with a student in the studio, and calls another teacher “a slutty bitch” to her face.

Chastant believes that yoga, an ancient spiritual practice, has in contemporary culture strayed from its core objective of conquering the ego. “The ancient guru-shishya (teacher-disciple) relationship in India was meant to offset inappropriate behavior,” says Eddie Stern, a veteran yoga instructor. “Without the system of checks and balances that the teacher, or guru, is supposed to provide, the student can become proud, and that feeling of pride leads to the subtle idea that ‘I am free to behave as I want,’ which is not spirituality, but hedonism.” Chastant’s very human portrayal of yoga teachers appears to be resonating with the yoga-going crowd — the first season’s six five-minute episodes have been viewed over 160,000 times since their release on November 15.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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