the latest in extreme yoga

article-1187281-05151365000005DC-980_634x429So you think putting your leg behind your head or balancing on your hands isn’t extreme enough? Try doing it on a BMX bike! Every six months or so, some flexible adrenaline junkie surfaces and catches the attention of the inter/national media. Last year, it was that slacker guy who could sit in lotus pose on a tightrope (via this Wall Street Journal article).

This week, it’s Khiv Raj Gurjar, a 61-year-old yogi/bodybuilder/cyclist/adventure addict who lives in India. Every morning at dawn, he rides his BMX bike to a rocky outcrop near his home and does these yoga-esque poses on his bike near the edge of the cliff.

A student of yoga since the age of 13 and a keen sportsman, Khiv has combined his other great love, cycling, to create his new and extreme form.

‘From my childhood I was passionate to do things which are extraordinary and look very dangerous,’ says Khiv.

‘I tried magic, learned acrobatics, yoga, did cycling, played football.

‘As I grew into my twenties I found combining yoga and cycling stunts would be something very unconventional, but also deeply challenging.’ [via the Daily Mail UK]

There seems to have been no formal study of the extreme yoga phenomenon (ie, there’s no Wikipedia article about it) but it really is a thing deserving of study. It makes sense, since we live in a culture that loves extreme versions of anything and that is constantly looking for ways to make yoga more flashy, athletic and marketable.

A brief internet search of ‘extreme yoga’ turned up pages and pages of extreme weirdness. I’d have to say that this video is the most extreme example of extreme yoga:

And then there are things which are considered extreme yoga, but are really just regular yoga. Such as this Kate Moss sculpture, which the British press repeatedly called “an extreme yoga position.” It kind of is, but since she’s not doing the pose on a BMX bike or on top of a moving train, it’s not extreme yoga. When I become independently wealthy and have loads of free time, I will research the history and evolution of extreme yoga. In the meantime, I will simply monitor its appearances in popular media.

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  1. Does it make me a really negative, bad yogi that my first thought upon reading this post’s title and seeing the pic at the top was “looks to me like ‘the latest in dumb yoga'”?

    Then, considering that, full disclosure, I think the Kate Moss statue’s kinda hot, I’m really not one to judge…

  2. Not at all! I had the same reaction when I found the original story. This post generated a long discussion on F-book about the authenticity of the photos – the lighting is weird, and the positioning seems improbable.

    I’ve got to admit that I find the Kate Moss statue creeeeepy…!