Yesterday the Kula Yoga Project, one of the city’s most serious studios, blasted this e-mail to its members:
“So first the bad news, or really the SAD news. Five short weeks ago we replaced our funky old purple rental mats with nice new Manduka eco-mats. Since then 32 (THIRTY TWO!) have been stolen from the studio.”
WellandGoodNYC.com spoke to Kula studio manager Tatiana Ramos at 9 a.m. this morning and so far not one of the high-performance $70 “eko” mats, with “sea-grass texture finish” had been returned. “It’s beyond disheartening,” says Ramos. “I’m looking for some yogic lesson in it, but it’s hard to find.” Right now the studio charges a $2 rental fee for these mats, which “leave no footprint on the earth,” according to the manufacturer. And apparently no fingerprints by thieves either.
What kind of yogi would steal a mat? Certainly not the ones devoted to practicing loving-kindness, along with limbering poses. One student we interviewed emphasized the distinction between a true Kula yogi and “those who just show up and take classes.” Xenophobic posturing, perhaps, but a rationale that’s helping betrayed yogis make sense of this heinous karmic crime.
Kula, whose very name means “community” in Sanskrit, is practicing (excessive) compassion, suggesting that the thieves might be thinking of themselves as “’liberators’ of community mats or yoga props. Perhaps this person thinks it’s not quite stealing?”
C’mon Kula. Take these kleptos to the mat.
Do you think karma’s enough to stop people from stealing at yoga studios? Tell us, here!