Yoga Inspires Hip-Hop Fans, Plus-Size Participants

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Sep 01, 2005

Yoga is in the house. Just when you thought every variation of yoga had hit the market, hip-hop yoga programs are reaching out to attract more new audiences. Russell Simmons, hip-hop pioneer and cofounder of Def Jam Records, has produced Yoga Live, a series of yoga programs set to hip-hop music. “If yogis were the only people in America who could vote,” Simmons told Kriss Chaumont of The Seattle Times, “this country would be so compassionate and so giving and so loving. It would transform the world.”

Simmons adds, “Yoga is 5,000 years old and already has millions of Americans doing it, but if I press the right buttons, if I make it in a way that they can digest it, then the world will change.”

Simmons has been a yoga practitioner for more than 10 years and wants to spread the practice to benefit others. With the tag line “Full Body Enlightenment,” he promotes both the philosophical and the physical aspects of yoga. To learn more about his program, visit

Robin Downes, who has been a yoga teacher to Simmons and other celebrities in Los Angeles, offers her own hip-hop yoga program entitled “Yoga Flava.” Downes is currently writing a book by the same name. More information about Downes’s program is available at

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at