Thanks to an innovative new yoga class which brings together Justin Bieber hits and the art of yoga a new generation are being introduced to Namaste through MTV. Though the typical Belieber likely has little in common with an average yogi, nowhere is it written that pop music and asanas are incompatible. On the contrary, a number of yoga instructors have found great success offering untraditional soundtracks, and seen their rooms filled with newbies. Drawing a crowd for fun or novelty, alternative classes like yogaBiebes in Toronto provide an opportunity for many unlikely students to fall in love with yoga. Why should Beliebers be any different?
Offered on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:30 at 240 Roncesvalles, VHC PWYC, the classes feature an hour of Bieber favorites such as “One Life” and “Bad Day.” So what happens when you mix yoga and Beliebers? Students at the Village Healing Centre in Roncesvalles in Toronto, Ontario might not have been humming “Om” together, but they were sharing the love with synchronized vocalizations of a sort. According to Rosanne McCollum, the 44-year-old mother and yoga instructor who came up with the idea, the “sweet vocals and hip beats” of yogaBiebs make the practice of yoga more fun and accessible for some. For that reason alone the combination has value.
The classes began on January 29, and as evidence of their worth the word quickly spread through social media with #yogaBiebs tweets and instagram pics of McCollum’s fliers for the class spreading like wildfire. It was not long before fellow Belieber and MTV VJ Phoebe Dykstra found out about the class that brings Justin-Bieber-style to Namaste and signed herself up. On Feb. 7 Dykstra showed up with her film crew and this happened:
The spot on MTV was just three minutes, but for Rosanne McCollum, who refers to herself as a “shameless Belieber,” the spot provided at least 15-minutes-worth of fame. Bearing her own testament to the love spread by Justin Bieber with a tattooed image of his signature heart-shaped hand sign, McCollum honestly believes (or is it Beliebes?) in using his music to get the young girls in a yoga-mindset. She has personally witnessed the power of pop playlists to spread the benefits of yoga, noting that soothing and new age music are not any more appropriate than DJ and dance music. It all depends on the audience.
At any rate, it is undeniable that the Toronto instructor has a winning idea. If the aim of a good yoga instructor should be to gain students and spread the benefits of the practice then McCollum has certainly found a means to succeed. Furthermore, she is remaining completely true to herself while doing so. By promoting a common interest she shares with an untapped yoga market her Justin Bieber-inspired yoga not only brings the teaching of Namaste to MTV, but also gives her an edge-up in the market. As unconventional as it sounds, the professional yoga community would be wise to follow the yogaBiebs example.
By Mimi Mudd