EXCLUSIVE: Downward Facing Twerk Will Leave You Saying Namaste, Bitches

Watch episode four of Namaste, Bitches season two exclusively on Murphy’s Multiverse.

Ready for some well-being and re-centering? Try yoga! Want a snarky, scathing criticism of the commercialization of yoga and its devolution into a mainstream social media contest for followers? Watch season 2 of Namaste, Bitches, a comedic web series from Creator and Director, Summer Chastant.

Chastant stars in the series as yoga instructor Sabine, who’s been teaching at What Up Dog Yoga Studio for six years and is eager to for a promotion to Senior Teacher. Tania Verafield reprises her role as Gina, now an unemployed yoga instructor crashing on Sabine’s couch, who’s beginning to spiral down a rabbit hole of wild conspiracy theories. When yoga studio owner Beth (Christina Piazza) asks Sabine to mentor her young niece and help her become a better instructor, Sabine accepts the role despite misgivings with Holly (Rebekah Kennedy), who will clearly stop at nothing to gain her own following of yoga enthusiasts.

Rebekah Kennedy as Holly and Summer Chastant as Sabine in Namaste, Bitches.

Sabine confronts Gina about her conspiracy theories and finally gets news about the Senior Teacher position she’s been longing for. But she’s in for a wicked surprise! Murphy’s Multiverse has an exclusive look at episode 4, “Downward Facing Twerk” here first.

Chastant launched season one of Namaste, Bitches in 2015, showcasing the underbelly of the yoga scene in Los Angeles. The story is close to home for Chastant, who taught yoga for over a decade in New York, but was forced to adapt her yoga practice after moving to California to pursue her acting and directing career. In a phone discussion earlier this month, Chastant said she had a more alignment-focused practice valued by a population who moved more. New Yorkers walk, take the stairs, walk to the subway, and valued that slower, aligning-focused practice. Vehicle-bound Californians, however, were looking for a workout. She found yoga practices attached to crystal meditation rooms and sound baths—with a much bigger focus on “energy” healing. When I asked her what she thought about those practices, Chastant laughed and explained “I appreciate people who appreciate them.”

Chastant, a certified yoga teacher, was concerned with the yoga community’s embrace of certain conspiracy theories during the pandemic—particularly with QAnon and its anti-vaccination movements which seemed to resonate among a subset of yoga’s cult-like followers looking for nontraditional healing. She confronts those trends and cancel culture in season two of the series. Guru Seasonal (Katarina Morhacova) serves as a sort of stand-in for the god-like yogis who are no longer questioned by their followers but blindly followed to dire ends. When someone dares to speak out? They’re canceled, never to be mentioned again amongst yoga practitioners. This worried Chastant, who urges people to be wary of any situations where people stop asking questions of their leaders. “Do your research!” she says playfully, parroting the QAnon catchphrase.

The yoga instructors of What Up Dog embrace Guru Seasonal’s conspiracies as cult-like followers.

With season two, Chastant took on directing and producing duties in addition to starring in the series. She says it was definitely more work, but directing allowed her to execute the vision she had for the show while writing it. She hopes the series can continue to evolve, perhaps even into a feature-length film. Chastant’s recent project, Plug, placed in the Austin Film Festival. Plug tells the story of a teenage girl who, after the death of Kurt Cobain, must confront her own tragic past in order to fulfill her dream of being the lead singer in a band.

You can catch up on Namaste, Bitches on YouTube now. All six episodes of season one are available now, as well as episodes 1-3 of season 2. Episodes 4-6 of season 2 will be available on December 2.

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