Inside the World of Competitive Yoga

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Benjamin Lorr explores the world of competitive yoga and how he got sucked into an obsessive subculture. Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga is about the athletic prodigies, wide-eyed celebrities, legitimate medical miracles, and predatory hucksters involved in competitive yoga.


Benjamin Lorr

Comments [8]

Paulette from Manhattan

I bow at Bikram's feet! Bikram was my miracle! It was the only thing that lowered my cortisol hormone level, the fight or flight hormone! A survivor of domestic violence, I was diagnosed and suffered from PTSD. I put on a lot of weight, belly fat and with the stress, pinched a nerve in my shoulder, inflammation up and down the left side of my body, a stiff neck that kept me up at night from pain, cystic breast tissue and fibromyalgia! My 30 day challenge became 60, then 90! I've lost 30 lbs! I look decades younger! My depression is gone! I'm drug and symptom free! Including ibuprofen! I did a complete detox and my body doesn't miss wine, the sugar or junk I used to shovel in it! I've succeeded, changed my lifestyle, the only way to achieve optimal health! It's not middle age that makes us sick or lowers metabolism, its a stressful toxic lifestyle!!! I've been healed! So don't knock it unless you've tried it! And not just a few times! Bikram says give him 30 days he will change your body, give him 60 your life! I gave him 90 and he saved my life! Namaste. :)

Jul. 02 2013 03:07 PM
Orli, MS, PT from NYC

We are supposed to carefully plan our fitness regime and over time, vary it. We ask our bodies to take on challenges, not abuse them with pushing and overheating our bodies. Heated Yoga and competitive yoga are about of good for the body as McDonalds Happy Meals. Some people are flexible, others are strong, others are overweight. We are all different. Not all of us can tolerate such artificial heat during the holding of extreme postures.

Jul. 02 2013 01:30 PM
The Truth from Becky

competitive yoga...geez is there no place for relaxation/meditation in this world anymore?!

Jul. 02 2013 12:59 PM
annie from Bronx, NY

Isn't "competitive yoga" an oxymoron? What's next, Buddhism bootcamp?

Jul. 02 2013 12:54 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Sounds like a scammer and a scam. Yoga is definitely NOT a competitive sport!This is just another business scam.

Jul. 02 2013 12:49 PM
David from New York

I'm old enough that I remember Dr. Katz making a joke about competitive yoga. "Some of these guys... get so relaxed."

Jul. 02 2013 12:31 PM
Tim from Long Island

Excellent, very intelligently written book. Unfortunately the reference to competitive yoga in the title may turn some yogi's away from reading it which would be a shame as it has much to offer. The descriptions of the author's path through yoga and the various people he comes into contact with make for very interesting reading.

Jul. 02 2013 12:03 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Competitive yoga" is an oxymoron, as the whole purpose of doing yoga is for the INDIVIDUAL to come to know his own body and mind, and to help keep them healthy and properly functioning. There is nothing and should be nothing competitive about yoga. The idea defeats its very purpose and is harmful to boot. Yoga can be dangerous to those "pushing themselves" to do what may be good or possible for someone else's mind and body, but not your own.

Jul. 02 2013 11:38 AM

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