Stephen Colbert needs yoga. Not because he says he is the most inflexible man in the world, or because he found out some women who practice yoga are able to have two to three hour orgasms, but because he seems to have attention deficit disorder. But who am I to judge? Millions of Americans tune in and get a kick out of his opinions of current events disguised as crude and bold comic relief. He’s no Seth Meyers, but he does entertain in a blatantly rude sort of way.
I am very surprised that William J. Broad, author of The Science of Yoga and esteemed science writer for the New York Times, agreed to come on the show for an interview. After listening to Broad on NPR’s Fresh Air, and NPR’s Talk of the Nation Science Friday, I was curious to see how he would respond to the brazen personality of Colbert. Poised, calm and well spoken, Broad held an impressive level of composure against the piercing and sometimes irrational questions imposed upon him by the audacious TV host.
Broad told Colbert that he practices yoga because it helps him relax and be able to do the hard edge reporting that has earned him two Pulitzer Prizes. You would think that would perk up the ears of a fellow journalist, but instead Colbert told Broad he didn’t know a thing about yoga. Not surprising, as his description of the practice is how people look when they are crammed and contorted in the coach section of an airplane.
“Why didn’t you name the book Two to Three Hour Orgasm?” Colbert interjected between Broads attempt at genuinely answering his questions. “Do you wear those tight clothes when you practice?” he interrupted obnoxiously as Broad was trying to intelligently describe the science of yoga.
I had to give Colbert some credit when he pulled out a model of the human spine. Seemingly interested, he listened to Broad speak about the potential for strokes when doing poses that put the cervical vertebrae in extreme flexion such as shoulder stand and plow pose, but the conversation veered away from the dangers of yoga and ended with the apparent sex cult-like origins of yoga.
February 16th, 2012