I have known Kareen Zebroff for over 30 years. I initially got to know her because I was friends with one of her daughters. Over the years, as I became Kareen’s friend as well—listening to her stories with an adult’s ear—and grew to understand the cultural and societal importance that her television persona had not only here in Canada, but also in Germany.
Although I am not a cultural anthropologist, nor do I play one on TV , because of my background in communications—specifically the mediums of television and advertising—I have long viewed Kareen’s pioneering work in the area of yoga during the 1970s and 80s, through the lense of popular culture. I see Kareen as having influenced popular culture’s view of yoga in both Canada and Germany.
I am not alone in this assessment. German social anthropologist, Beatrix Hauser, wrote extensively about Kareen’s influence on 1970s Germany, in her brand new text book, Yoga Traveling: Bodily Practice in Transcultural Perspective.
I am now in the process of reading this very interesting text, and seeing just how my views from media-based communications and personal perspectives, dovetail with those of Professor Hauser.
Keep an eye on this space, because as soon as I’ve finished reading Yoga Traveling, I will write more about Kareen’s pioneering yoga work, and how it was a harbinger of what we’re seeing in the fitness world today.