In the Season 3 premiere of the hit reality television series “Duck Dynasty,” which chronicles the high jinks of the ZZ Top-bearded family behind Duck Commander hunting gear, yoga made a surprising cameo. In an effort to lose weight, son and company CEO Willie Robertson, who narrates the show, agrees to attend a yoga class with his wife in the search for a “more relaxing way to get in shape.”
“Willie has absolutely no idea how hard yoga is,” says his wife, Korie. “I’m going to enjoy watching him sweat.”
And sweat he does. With his hair held back with an American flag bandana, and sporting “camo” tights for the occasion, Willie hrumphs his way through a vinyasa class. “They should give these poses names that reflect reality, like spine-snapper,” he riffs.
When the teacher instructs the class to come into either Bridge or Wheel Pose, Willie moans, “Oh lord, no. You all got a Bridge, I got a ditch.”
Now, duck hunting doesn’t exactly follow the core yogic precept of ahimsa, or non-harming. (A point highlighted when singer and animal rights activist Morrissey cancelled his appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show this week because the “Duck Dynasty” guys were also appearing.) And it’s interesting to see how easily the physical practice of yoga gets compartmentalized away from the philosophy (which is the same thing that happens when people come to the practice just seeking a great “yoga butt”). On the other hand, if yoga can reach into and make a difference in the lives of people who might otherwise dismiss it as being only for women, for “yuppies,” or for someone, well, not like them, that’s not a bad thing at all.
We don’t know if Willie sticks with yoga. We can only hope that if he does, he might be inspired to change his line of work.