2005, $1.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Rodney is actually wearing pants in this picture.

Second Impression: If you tilt your head, his chest looks like a face.

This DVD starts with an interview with Rodney Yee nattering on about the mind-body and applying yoga principles to the rest of your life, blah blah. There’s something off-putting about him, but I can’t put my finger on it. Also, there are two separate routines on the disc, but you can’t select them separately through the menu like the back cover says you can. Lies!

I select the workout track to play, and I am very confused by what happens next. There’s a video of Rodney Yee performing an athletic yoga routine in half-silhouette, accompanied by sprightly pan pipes. It’s lit with dreamy purple gels, and dramatic light and music changes accent his movements. Am I… supposed to follow along? Is this… the routine? Why isn’t there any instruction?

Then I notice how the camera lingers on his tawny rippled chest in the half-light, then pans down over his slim-fitting shorts to caress his perfectly muscled thighs. As Rodney Yee leans back, there’s a close up on his taut lower abdomen panting in and out. This goes on for seven minutes. It’s the most egregious piece of onanism I’ve ever witnessed.

We fade out on this shameless display of yogic self-congratulation, and back up again. Rodney fixes the camera with a post-coital gaze. “Hi,” he purrs, lacking only a cigarette. “I’m Rodney Yee.”   Yes, we know. When does the workout start?

You know, when we finally do start yoga-ing, there’s nothing special about the routine. It’s a sun salutation followed by a demonstration on shoulder stands. I think it’s foolish to try to learn shoulder stands by watching a video. You really need a teacher/spotter to walk you through it and make sure you don’t injure yourself.

Afterwards, I look up his bio. Surprise! It turns out there’s a scandal trail behind him resulting from entanglements with students, one of whom he left his wife for. The articles say that in hindsight, he claims he “didn’t know how sexual he was being in class.” Oh, spare me. How could he not know? Has he not seen his own purple-lit, full release yoga porn? Something tells me he watches it a lot.

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