Some yoga practitioners are bent out of shape over the above ad for Equinox gym, accusing it of sexualizing an ostensibly spiritual activity. Lisa Miller challenges the assumption that there's a clear line betweeen "holy" and "profane" in religious practice:
Spiritual satisfaction and authenticity have always been matters of taste (as well as of time, place and tribe), and those who claim too loudly to have found the "right" path to a higher truth are at a disadvantage for having said so. In America today, there are the Amish and there are televangelists. Some might say the Amish have a "purer" religion, but millions get a thrill and perhaps even existential guidance from the happy platitudes of Joel Osteen.
And of all the religious patterns occurring among Americans now, none is more prevalent than the widespread dissatisfaction with established religion, a falling away of the faithful from the structures and rules of conventional Judeo-Christian worship. In its place is a more do-it-yourself spirituality, a cobbling together of private-prayer, transcendent experience and family tradition; for millions of these DIYers, yoga and meditation meet a need that regular churchgoing can’t fill.