Step 1 - Start by seeking out trendy yoga studios in gentrified areas in either LA or NYC (sorry, but you’ll need to move if you are anywhere else. It’s just not going to happen in Iowa or Kansas). This is where all the rich and beautiful yogis are and who will become your yoga allies. They are the yogis you must befriend and socialize with as you start your ascent to yoga stardom. Of these, you’ll need to figure out who the power yogis are (look for the ones wearing high-end yoga clothes and sporting a Black Manduka yoga mat) and who are new to the game (they are the ones wearing K-Mart crap and practice on pastel colored mats). It is also very important that you figure out who the yoga nut-jobs are (i.e. they’re the ones spouting crackpot yoga theories and think yoga is all spiritual and everything). Unfortunately there are vast amounts of them in the yoga world. Befriend the former, unless one of the latter can get you introduced to one of the former. Remember that the yoga whack-jobs will always lead you astray in your rise to yoga fame.
Step 2 – You will now need to actually learn something about yoga. Have no fear though, as all yoga studios will have books and magazines that you can spy while waiting for a class to begin. No need to invest money for this (in fact your first few classes at most yoga studios will usually be free or nominal in their quest to ‘hook’ you on yoga). Concentrate on books and articles about Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga in particular. The reason for this will become clear in the next step.
Step 3 – With a bit of yoga knowledge under your belt it is now time to chat up the other yogis around you. Always mention Iyengar or Ashtanga in your conversations with them. Do this at every chance possible. Use a flip and tired tone when doing this to suggest you know all about these styles and have practiced them for much longer than you care to remember. Almost all yogis you encounter can relate to one of these as they are the basis of all the other styles out there. Look for their knowing nod of acceptance.
Important Note: Don’t try and add your own opinion of which style is better at this stage; you’ll only confuse things. The important thing to remember for now is that you are trying to win friends, not influence people.
Step 4 – Now is the time to perfect your Yogatude. This is a crucial step in breaking out from the crowd of ordinary yogis.
Step 5 - At this point you should decide what kind of yoga star path you’ll want to take. The two basic avenues are yoga studio owner player or yoga magazine/yoga video player. If you choose the studio owner path, simply go out and buy one. Don’t worry if you’re not certified to teach. You can always hire teachers who are. No one will be the wiser and the beauty is that you won’t have to pay them much anyway. If you have followed the previous steps to satisfaction thus far, you should now be able to ‘steal’ all the cool, tight and trendy yogis from the other studios you hung out with as these yogis will now follow you to your new studio. Your studio will suddenly be THE yoga studio that everyone will want to be seen in.
Note: If you have decided to take the yoga magazine/video path we trust that you have befriended the publisher or editor of a pop-yoga magazine that has offered you opportunities to appear in articles and on the cover. Strive to get into as many articles and covers as possible. Don’t waste too much time actually doing yoga for the covers; save the yoga for the videos.
Step 6 – Needless to say, you will need to develop and protect your public image (this is not the time to be caught catching a smoke in the back of your studio or being drunk while checking in your marks, umm, I mean students). Always remember that your image is what you will live off of going forward. Guard it like a yoga warrior!
Note: It's okay to be caught doing yoga in the nude. In fact, some yoga stars have become quite famous doing so.
Step 7 – You are now at the crucial stage in your rise to yoga stardom; the picking of your brand. Bandanas, speedos and hot pants have all been successfully used in the past. A perennial favorite is to appear somewhat exotic. People in the yoga scene love things they don’t understand (keep things mysterious) and we’re not just talking Sanskrit. On the other hand, if you have great hair and/or a great body, you will stand out from the gaggle of other wanna-be yoga stars. Use this to your advantage. Most important though is to make a point of saying that you think yoga transcends the outward appearances of great hair and great bodies while driving home that in fact, you have great hair and a great body.
Step 8 - Cultivate extensive yoga buzz about yourself. As it is impossible for everyone to be everywhere at once, use yoga blogs to your advantage. Comment on those run by snarky yoga bloggers and drop hints about your connections to past yoga stars (and hopefully dead ones so it will be hard to follow up on your claims) and yoga greatness. Banter with these yoga malcontents as you watch your yoga star shoot up proportionately as each of your comments get posted from blog to blog like wildfire. Also don't forget to establish a Facebook and Twitter account as these are where the vast majority of your new followers will hang out in the cyber world.
Special note: Be extremely cautious about doing this on YogaDawg’s blog. Extreme bouts of schizophrenia and uncontrolled laughter have been reported from pretentious uptight yoga stars who have visited it. There is no exit there for the cunning.
Step 9 - You are now in low yoga star orbit and need to cultivate one additional trait to solidify your yoga image of those around you. Your goal now is to learn to act 'yogic' (that dreamy far away look that will give you an air of authenticity as it will show that you are have transcended your ties to ordinary daily living). Ideally, you will act this way around yoga students, yoga magazine publishers and sport clothing manufacturers who you will be vying to get endorsements from (you are trying to get endorsements at this point, aren’t you?) Be assured that after a while you’ll become so yogic that you'll forget where or who you are most of the time.
Step 10 – Create your own special “thing”. Be assured that there is always a new yoga style to be invented. As much as yoga people like to think they are practicing ancient yoga methods tied to past yoga gurus, a cult of yoga newness flourishes among them (they are all suckers for the latest yoga trend). Be inventive.
Step 11 - Now is the time to take it to the bank by having an impact on the yoga movement itself. Claim your yoga territory by creating a cause or a mission that can easily be tied to your brand using all your PR skills and contacts. Use your new found fame strategically. If it brings you riches, with, say, a rise in endorsements or ads in magazines, start a new trendy yoga foundation with a hip yoga sounding name.
Step12 – That’s it! You did it!! Good work!!! You are a yoga star. You can now om comfortably in your Malibu beach home or Park Avenue apartment.
Om Shanti and don’t forget to send in a monthly donation to the non-profit YogaDawg Foundation.