Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Those three words look odd next to each other. One of them doesn't seem to belong. (Kind of like the old Butthole Surfers album, "Locust Abortion Technician").

But apparently they do.

Read all about YAMA (yes, Yama) Talent here.

Here's their mission statement:

“YAMA Talent is the world’s premiere yoga management agency. We exclusively represent a diverse portfolio of distinguished instructors from around the globe. We are experts in the yoga space and a catalyst for spreading the practice of yoga by helping teachers to do what they do best: teach. Like other artists, athletes and scholars, we believe that yoga teachers should have the freedom to focus on their craft, to practice, to study and innovate. We accomplish our goal by easing the burden of the business side of being a yoga teacher and offering comprehensive strategy to organize and execute the careers of our clients. We aim to become the hub of the fast growing yoga community, connecting students, teachers, studios and yoga enthusiasts around the world.”

But wait, there's more:

YAMA Talent cultivates and manages a multitude of opportunities for our clients. We seek engagements in the traditional yoga space, such as classes, retreats, festivals, conferences and workshops. We also cultivate opportunities in the burgeoning market for “non-traditional” employment, including product endorsements, modeling, commercial advertisement, corporate events, lectures, music/film, professional sports and academia

* * *

I agree that booking workshops, negotiating contracts, making fliers, updating websites, and doing self-promotion can suck the soul out of someone whose only desire is to practice and teach yoga. Many teachers have spouses who do this for them, and, traditionally, chelas do it for their gurus. So this does seem to fill a need. But, from what I understand, yogis (real yogis) are not interested in product endorsements or modeling opportunities or branding - eschewing the latter in favor of smearing themselves with ashes of course.


*Thanks to Boodiba for the head's-up!


  1. I think if the agent is someone you feel "meets" you and is working on your behalf, it might be adventageous.

    I don't much like the three words together either. They imply a materialistic view of yoga.

    but Talent Agent?


  2. That's funny- in a not really funny sort of way. Hey, I could get a picture of myself, airbrush it, photoshop it (so as to get into asanas that I can't quite do yet) and then they can market me for top dollar.

    Sounds like something from The Onion.

  3. not sure about this one. i have a hate/hate relationship with my talent agent, but since i'm in SAG, i can't audition for SAG work without one.

    he'd hang up the phone if i asked for help with marketing myself (postcards, business cards, headshots, personal website maintenance, mailings etc.etc.), auditon prep, tax help or any aspect of the business side of 'show business'. I wonder if YAMA is any more helpful?

    essentially, he negotiates contracts (and collects his commission) once i've booked the job. we actors like to remind ourselves that they earn 10% commission because WE do 90% of the work.

    YAMA has a pretty slick website. lots of pretty pictures. my agency requires you to be on their website (once they deem your pic pretty enough - of course you pay for photographer, hair/make-up artist, stylist, reproduction etc.) and then they CHARGE you annually for this priviledge...

    better quit writing about this - i feel a pitta imbalance coming!

  4. I think this is one of those things that just makes you sort of raise your eyebrows and go "hmmm...."

    In principle I don't disagree with it, but I guess we have to ask ourselves what the net effect is on the yoga community at large and the more specific yoga community of teachers. Does this create a celebrity culture that doesn't already exist? No, it's there (think "celebriyogis" and other such). Certainly it does reinforce this culture though. And creates a financial divide, because, as Mislily points out, this cannot come cheap....

  5. I don't know about you guys, but I'm asking for a deluxe trailer, a case of my favorite champagne, ummm... 800 thread count sheets and marijuana!