PLEDGE NOW
Where Yoga Gets Crazy

We’ll explore the body and mind-bending world of competitive yoga.

Yoga teacher Kyoko Katsura demonstrates standing bow puilling, one of the poses that could be seen during the National Yoga Asana Championships in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. Katsura will be a competing in the national competition which will take place from March 2-4 in New York City. (AP)

Yoga teacher Kyoko Katsura demonstrates standing bow puilling, one of the poses that could be seen during the National Yoga Asana Championships in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. Katsura will be a competing in the national competition which will take place from March 2-4 in New York City. (AP)

Yoga has become a big deal in America.  Everywhere you turn, it seems, there’s somebody with a yoga mat.  On their way to class.  To sweat and bend and get centered.  Limber.  Some say alive.  One of those “come to yoga” acolytes was Benjamin Lorr.  He went from chubby mess to yoga svelte.

And then on – to competitive yoga. Yes, there is competitive yoga.  His was hot, Bikram-style.  He found a lot of pain there.  And some joy.  And a lot of insight into the world of yoga.

This hour, On Point:  the body and mind-bending world of extreme yoga.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Benjamin Lorr, author of Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga.

Cynthia Wehr, USA YOGA winner 2005 and 2007.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “How many times have you found yourself clicking through a slide show about someone who has lost lots of weight? In the last one I saw, a woman who lost 160 pounds took a picture every 20 pounds or so. The images were riveting, even though it often looked as if she were standing in a closet under a fluorescent light, her hair stringy, her face un-made-up. The human body amazes — both in its grotesqueness and beauty. Today, physical transformation is the stuff of reality TV shows; a century ago, it was the foundation of Bernarr Macfadden’s media empire. His flagship magazine, True Story, published readers’ accounts of miraculous weight loss. And the miracles rarely stopped at the shedding of pounds: health and vitality were regained, marriages reinvigorated, purpose found.”

Excerpt

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 2, 2015
In this file photo, Judy Blume attends LA Times Festival of Books, Saturday, April. 21, 2012, at the USC Campus in Los Angeles.  (AP)

Beloved children’s author Judy Blume is writing for adults again – on disaster. Judy Blume joins us.

 
Jul 2, 2015
This file image taken from a militant website associated with Islamic State extremists, posted Saturday, May 23, 2015, purports to show a suicide bomber, with the Arabic bar below reading: "Urgent: The heroic martyr Abu Amer al-Najdi, the attacker of the (Shiite) temple in Qatif", which the Islamic State group's radio station claimed responsibility for.  (AP)

A big, provocative look at the sophisticated online efforts of ISIS to recruit and lure Westerners to their cause.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
8 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment