Many enthusiasts take Atlanta yoga classes in order to relax, reflect and recuperate from a long day at work. Others enjoy the self healing regimen for its ability to improve strength and balance while providing simultaneous mental and emotional clarity. But who takes yoga as an espousal of personal selfishness?
Evidently, some do. According to a news report published by TIME Magazine, the yoga product manufacturer Lululemon Athletica has recently begun selling tote bags with the phrase "Who is John Galt?" printed in large letters on the side.
For those unfamiliar with the phrase, it is a recurring rhetorical question in Atlas Shrugged, a controversial 1957 novel written by Ayn Rand about the virtue of selfishness. (Lest you think we're misusing that last word, we direct you to her 1964 essay collection, The Virtue of Selfishness.)
You may be saying, "Wait, I thought yoga's personal change model was about selflessness!" If so, you're not alone. Thousands of unhappy responses have flooded the company's blog.
Toronto yoga instructor Sarah Kurchak told the Globe and Mail that the sentiment embodied by the quote runs contrary to what the holistic routine is all about – namely, interpersonal connections and the renunciation of materialism.
"It's a clash with yoga values," she told the newspaper. "That was the last straw."