Facebook recently released a “Yoga Retreat” app/game. So we’ve gone from herding cattle with Farmville to herding yoga students, eh? My, we are an advanced species. All jokes aside, the game is pretty cute. There’s even a Yoga Cat to act as your tour guide in the game, helping players navigate the game (you start by choosing your yoga character), reminding those at home to take deep yoga breaths and demonstrating some chair yoga (he’s a pretty flexible feline). The irony of the game, though, is astounding. Have we come to the point where we need to “get away” from our busy, cubicle-addled lives by playing at fitness with n screen characters who breathe, sweat and stretch for us? Sure, the characters are cute, the setting beautiful (it all takes place at a beach resort), and the concept kitschy.
But really, if you have the time to play this game, you can probably can take the time to actually get out of your chair and do some yoga yourself. What would be cooler is if the Yoga Cat stayed on player’s computers as a sort of virus, crawling across the screen to intermittently remind people to breathe, stretch and take breaks. One thing I noticed is that the Sun Salutations aren’t exactly correct. Sun Salutation I, as it is it titled, involves the right start (inhale, arms up; exhale, fold), but then the yogi on the screen holds a plank position for about 30 seconds (a good challenge), but they completely skip upward facing dog and the downward facing dog looks like it is a blip on the mat. Plus, in the Sun Salutation II series, the are no Warriors and no Chair poses. Maybe the games who created the cutesy game could take a yoga retreat of their own and go to a yoga class in order to learn what yoga really is all about. I’ll even save some room for them on the mats in my class–and it won’t cost them any imaginary computer currency either.