In his book Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Tastes of Millions, Christian Lander notes that “Yoga is essentially stretching with guidance. . . . . You might think that since yoga is such a minimalist activity, it can be done almost anywhere. But you would be wrong. Yoga must take place on hardwood floor at a studio. Exposed beams are generally believed to enhance yoga experiences by 40 percent.”
With this droll explanation in mind, you might think that much of the “specialness” of yoga depends on trivialities, like “$80 pairs of pants.”
But the state of Virginia harbors no such cynical thoughts. It understands the secret of yoga’s ancient allure: The great chain of instruction must be regulated by the state.
Virginians are free to do yoga, even in their own dingy homes, and to inappropriate music, say Bach or the Turtles.
Further, any Virginian may teach yoga. Hey, it’s a free state.
But under no circumstances may a Virginian teach another Virginian how to teach yoga — not without paying heavy administrative fees in the state’s vocational licensing system.
Silly, you say?
Thankfully, the Institute for Justice teamed up with yoga-teacher trainers Julia Kalish, Suzanne Leitner-Wise, and Beverly Brown to challenge the law, on Constitutional grounds.
Now that’s soothing.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.