Ep.26: NAO; Demystifying Yoga
The practice of Yoga is believed to have originated thousands of years ago in northern India, but it is now a global multi-billion dollar industry associated with the concept of wellness. In our main feature, Stance travels to LA to explore the many faces of modern yoga - what it has become and where it all started.
Stance were invited by adidas to meet some of the women they’re collaborating with who are using yoga to champion the communities they care about and provide greater representation. They speak with Alli Simon, Tie Simpson, Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, Abi Nolan and Avery Kalapa at The Wanderlust Studios to find out more.
What are the founding principles of yoga? Stance spoke to Mark Whitwell who has been studying the practice for over three decades. He travels the world teaching Yoga after training with Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, an Indian yoga teacher, ayurvedic healer and scholar, seen as one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century. We asked him about what he’d learnt from the man regarded as "the father of modern yoga"?
Chiraag Bhakta is a San Francisco based artist working under the pseudonym *Pardon My Hindi. Stance met him to discuss how the western interpretation of yoga influenced his work as an artist culminating in the installation and series, #WhitePeopleDoingYoga.
The power of the practice of yoga is seen by many as transformative. Stance meets with Maria Aroch who was paralysed after being shot in a robbery in Los Angeles. Maria is the only certified yoga instructor in the city teaching from a wheelchair and speaks to Stance about how yoga has changed her life after her traumatic experience.
Bikram, or hot yoga, is a combination of 26 poses practised at 40 degrees celsius to mimic the climate of founder Bikram Choudhury's Kolkata home in India. It rapidly became an immensely popular practice with celebrities and everyday yoga lovers in the early 2010s. But there is significant controversy surrounding founder, Bikram Choudhury. Stance speaks with journalist Benjamin Lorr who examined his behaviour firsthand, documented in his latest book Hell Bent
For our profile this month, Stance catches up with singer-songwriter, NAO. Born in Nottingham and raised in East London, NAO gained huge praise when she released and produced her debut record, For All We Know, in 2016. Stance speaks to her about her influences, her recent tour in the US, and the astrological inspiration behind her latest album, Saturn.
Stance Cultural Shoutouts:
Vernon Subutex - Virginie Despentes
The Good Immigrant USA Edition - Edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman, and features essays by Yann Demange, Teju Cole, Fatimah Asghar… 2nd March published by Little Brown.
Film & TV
Asma Khan: Chef’s Table Season 6 - Netflix
United Skates - Film by Dyana Winkler & Tina Brown
Hospital Podcast 383 with London Elektricity - Hospital Records
WTF Podcast with Anderson .Paak - Marc Maron
How to Fail Podcast - with Sharmaine Lovegrove
OSHUN - Solar Plexus ft. Proda
Cover Photo: NAO