Sacred Cow

This post is about nothing. This post is about everything. This post takes place in our city. But it could happen anywhere.

A young man rises in the moonlight bathing the room he shares with his girlfriend, an early love. They look out the bay window beyond the sparse conifer hedge and birch trees, where scores of men and women—shrouded in black—mill around the neighbor’s lawn, candles flickering.

Settled afterward in Washington, D.C., they leave behind those sorts—until the discovery of a cancer afflicting the city, a burgeoning arts community whose adherents worship false gods and follow blindly an ideology that presents itself in digestible chunks, to be consumed by Visa and MasterCard once or twice weekly by self-selecting members of the elite.

With a Bachelor’s degree in humanities and aspirations of graduate school, the typical adherent to this ancient Vedic tradition hails from the middle and upper-middle classes of white America. They may be seen boarding subway trains early on Saturday morning or disembarking late in the workday, rolled foam mats—purple or pink with swirls—slung across their backs, like a rifle on a soldier. With the music turned low, one may hear them chattering on the train or on the street.

“For the past several years, I’ve studied under Kimberly Wilson,” one says to another. “I used to study under David Thompson, in Baltimore.”

One of the most prominent local gurus and self-styled “tranquil chick,” Kimberly Wilson has for years served the city as the proprietor of Tranquil Space, with locations in Dupont Circle (the mother ship), Bethesda, Md., and Arlington, Va. Declared by the Washington Post in 2005 to be the city’s “best yoga studio,” Tranquil Space bills itself, too, as “among the top 25 yoga studios in the world”—presumably besting countless studios in India, a land with nearly a billion Hindus, home of the sacred cow and the downward dog.

Aside from a busy class schedule and training sessions for instructors, Kimberly Wilson also offers her following of hip, tranquil chicks a plethora of events and retreats, in addition to “mentoring” services—something that combines the wishes and hopes of the young, educated white woman into a unified field theory of city living. For $150 per hour, Kimberly Wilson offers “client-driven” personal mentoring services to those inspired by her self-published book (Hip Tranquil Chick), focusing on personal and professional growth “on and off the mat.”

On a pink background devoid of any testosterone-driven capital letters, Kimberly Wilson’s Web site offers testimony to the benefits adherents may receive while working on the mat and, as it were, on the couch. “[M]any clients have been inspired by [K]imberly’s entrepreneurial spirit and would like her insights into a proposed business venture. [W]omen have also approached [K]imberly for her guidance on becoming more creative or deepening their on the mat experience.”

With a Master’s degree in women’s studies and a black belt in relationships, Kimberly Wilson intends the Vinyasa yoga experience of Tranquil Space to represent not just a chic affectation but a comprehensive lifestyle choice, as instructors encourage “yogis” to linger after class over tea and cookies to discuss whatever inane cognitions might be flickering momentarily through their animal minds.

Upon reading of Kimberly Wilson, I gain sudden and total understanding—an epiphany, if you will—of Al Qaeda and African Americans. I know now why they hate us. And it is not for our freedom.


Hip Tranquil Chick ("hip-tra[ng]-kw&l-'chik), n., A woman who weaves her practice of yoga and love of all things fabulous into a hip and tranquil lifestyle. A hip tranquil chick juggles a busy life with grace, gives of her resources, puts her best face (and foot) forward, nurtures herself with compassionate care, exudes her signature style, and lights up the room with her presence. She weaves all of these great characteristics rolled into one fun-loving, chic, and conscious chick!

Source: Tranquil Space


  1. it's kind of cult like, not so dissimilar to Scientology (large sums of money + hippie inspired bullshit = profit for few, enlightenment for none)

  2. I need to watch my back now. I'm going to get hit by the Yogi Mafia.

  3. Best post of yours I ever dun red, M@! I agree wholeheartedly. That yoga chick who used to have a show on Animal Planet about doing yoga with effing dogs? She irritated me, too.

  4. Yeeessss! I agree. Finally someone brave enough to speak out about the craziness. I think I would be lynched for speaking out here in the land of trust fund hippies.

  5. like the topic. agree wholeheartedly with your stance on the matter. still hate your writing style.

  6. Amy,

    That's tough shit. My writing style is quite good. I'll let you know when my book is published, bitch. :)

  7. ...so don't let me come in your head, Amy.

  8. Stretching and zoning out might be nice to do before or after real exercise. At least it keeps those people out of my way at the boathouse and gym.

    Damn good post. It needed to be said.

  9. Anonymous,

    Yeah, I'm still finding it hard to believe that stretching is REAL exercise. The latest literature on sports medicine (you can check the NY Times) says that stretching might be counterproductive for runners and that a bit of stiffness is a good thing--keeps the muscles tight around the joints.

    Flexibility, as a value, is not necessarily a good thing. Well, at least we know where they all are on Saturday morning.

    I'll be at Jane Fonda's house, having some tea.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. You downward dog, you. Good to see you're still up to no good.

  13. ok let me try this again. If I had not known any better, I would have thought you were describing a regular weekend morning in LA, protein shots and fake boobs on their way to the gym to get their skinny butts to the sky closer to the nirvana...

    I would have sworn that so much accuracy in the description of those women could have come only from another woman :) hehe

    I already told you how much I like your style...

    And as far as yoga is concerned, I am a little sad fashion has taken hold of a ancient discipline that I respect and wish to see protected from flocks of 'hip tranquil chicks' (ugh).

    I think it is not an 'exercise' per se but a practice that balances body and mind, but not in any trivial way (and I don't conceive 'mind' in any religious or completely disconnected way either, we have discussed that before).

    I hope that when the fashion trend deflates, people who have a genuine interest in yoga will go back to it. I know I will.

    Thank you for your post :)

  14. 'hip tranquil chicks' trump 'fat chicks' any day of the week. this is not constructive hate if impressionable women start staying in bed with romance novels instead of getting whatever toning benefits yoga has to offer. what would you have them do, m@? btw, you still suck.

  15. Confession: I want to be one of those girls carrying a yoga mat on her back in a hip place like Dupont.

    Even though I can't stand some of those girls.


  16. can't wait to see this book, M@. I'll leave a space for it on my bookshelf of hatred, right between Palahniuk's latest and "Heart of Darkness."

  17. Anonymous,

    I would have them doing some serious cardio and maybe some light weights. I agree w/ you on the toning but not the method. :)

    Both Sides,



    My Indian friend, over a cup of tea, also expressed disgust w/ this perversion, though he did recommend the practice as a way to get me to stop hating things.

  18. For $150 a session, I'll teach Yoga. In fact, I'd like to announce a price cut to $100 a session. M@, bring your on beer.

  19. Amy,

    Funny thing. I took an African American Literature class at a historically black university and angered my professor by comparing a novel to "Heart of Darkness." I liked Fight Club, too. :)

    You need to chill, girlfriend. Don't let me come in your head.

    Just get you a cup of herbal tea and sit down w/ a good feminism magazine. I would recommend "Bitch." My friend Chris subscribes to it.

  20. Amy,

    You go to Howard, right? Did you learn about those authors in a particular class?

  21. I don't go to Howard, stalker, but I do work there, so please, please do not try to give me any sort of lecture on the racial undertones of any work of literature, Pastey Mcgee. And I actually enjoyed every other Palahniuk book I've read. Nice barb with the feminism magazine, though, very original. You've really got me pegged. Time to go set my Sleater-Kinney playlist on repeat and make signs for this weekend's NARAL rally.

  22. oh and M@, don't you worry. I wouldn't let you come within 100 feet of me. I am disease-free and would like to stay that way.

  23. El-oh-el, Amy. I've got you pegged as well as possible from a brief and anonymous exchange on a Web site. So the feminist bit was pretty good. Sometimes, unoriginal is funny.

    So let's see. The fact that you work at Howard University makes you more of an authority on the racial undertones of certain pieces of literature? I probably know as much about African American literature as you but I'll give you a pass on that. I wasn't lecturing you.

    My speech really angers you, doesn't it? Sorry, babe, this ain't Germany or the United Kingdom. I can pretty much say what I want.

    By the way, I once wrote a paper defending "hate speech" as free speech for an African American professor, a former member of the Black Panthers.

    I got an A-. Formatting, he said. Next time pass the paper in early and get some advice.

  24. Take care, Amy. Or should I say, ARNL.

  25. oh and M@, don't you worry. I wouldn't let you come within 100 feet of me. I am disease-free and would like to stay that way.

    --You probably have rabies, you filthy animal.

  26. Kimberley Wilson sounds tedious.

  27. M@sshole, when I find you, I'm going to cut a hole in your abdomen, and fuck it hard. And come in your new man-cunt. And scream in your face while I'm doing it. And shove my thumbs in your eye sockets to enjoy even more penetration into your disgusting carcass.

    God, I love you. Until then.....

  28. Anonymous,

    Send me an email and I'll meet you at my favorite Irish pub. Seriously.

  29. Sigh. I learned a lot since I met M@. For instance, I didn't know AQ and AA hated me. I wondered a bit about the Hindus because of us slaughtering and eating their sacred cows and such, but I though we made it all up by trying to do warrior pose and downward dog, not to mention alining our chakras in accordance with the universe. Now M@ tells me about Kimberly Wilson,so naturally I googled her. I was briefly delighted to find that she wants me to bring my yoga mat, journal, colored pens or pencils, magazines to cut up, and an open heart and join her for an hour of tea and love. Oh and incidentally, she would also need $125 bucks to let me in her door. Now the sunshine has gone out of my salutations, but at least I know the score. Now I'm just going to get into child's pose and rest until I think of something uncommercial in the US. I may be gone a while.

    Oh BTW anon, did you forget to take your medication again?

  30. Isn't it sort of lame to play the "I know who you are based on my stat tracker" card on someone because they disagreed with you?

  31. The nail salon above Chow's Takeout has finally shut down.

    I think this space would be PERFECT for a yoga studio....something my progressive dinner club has been talking about a lot lately. We really need one.

    Please email me contact info for this tranquil chick.


    Prince of Petworth.

  32. "Yeah, I'm still finding it hard to believe that stretching is REAL exercise. The latest literature on sports medicine (you can check the NY Times) says that stretching might be counterproductive for runners and that a bit of stiffness is a good thing--keeps the muscles tight around the joints."

    That's BS.

  33. Thanks for this post and the whole blog. It's enticing to find someone who is not that blind... Damn matrix...

  34. M@asshole. I hunt. I don't make dates.


  35. unrelated comment:

    Prince of Petworth really sucks. God I hate that blog.