OM City: The Online Yoga Series You Need to See

Kasia Litwinski
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OM City: The Series is brought to us by the yoga teacher/actor/filmmaker couple Jessie Barr and Tom O’Brien. The married couple has transposed their experiences as yoga teachers into a dramatized web series – a comical one in which they star, no less. While Barr is primarily featured on-screen as an on-the-go yoga teacher named Grace, O’Brien mans direction and executive production off-screen with occasional on-screen cameos.
 
This online yoga series introduces us to Grace who is a native New Yorker and a flustered yoga teacher. She is running from yoga classes to private sessions to dinners with the parents, and in a series of episodes all under ten minutes, the audience is taken through the absurd obstacles that Grace faces on a daily basis. These obstacles range in thematic content, all with humorous undertones. In one episode, Grace and her brother Alex are held up before dinner at a drug deal. Dinner is delayed even longer when Grace begins to work her yoga magic on the client in an attempt to speed up the process.
 
“It is not like once you become a teacher, you stop being a student.”
 
The theme that envelopes OM City is, like in the series Namaste, Bitches, to shed a spotlight on the less glamorous aspects of making it in the yoga world. Grace’s brother brings up the topic asking how much money she makes, and Grace simply replies, “Well, $50-$60 a class.” Alex suggests that “maybe the weed business” might be more lucrative, but like any good New Yorker, Grace is determined and ambitious to make it. (We learn that this is why she teaches about 20 yoga classes a week.)
 
“I want to help these people.”
 
OM City also looks at the numerous types of student interactions that yoga teachers face. Grace challenges herself to be patient and maintain a sense of humor through every encounter and obstacle she faces. Episodes tackle real-life scenarios that yogis are often faced with in the classroom, as well as everyday experiences off the mat. In another episode, we see the common issue of the late yogi who insists everyone in class move their yoga mats closer together. Grace also deals with Joseph (Chris Messina, aka Danny from The Mindy Project) who keeps his cell phone right on his mat and is too distracted to listen to any form of zen.
 
“Bring something to mind that you would like to make space for in your life.”
 
Have you ever wondered what it takes for a yoga teacher to snap and lose it? We see this in an episode when Grace attends a yoga class taught by her friend Desi. While initially Desi seems like a calm, cool, collected, “anything goes” kind of yogi, a disruption during Savasana proves that observation wrong. He may be great at giving life advice and providing a relaxing meditation after class, until a man outside on the phone distracts Desi. Before you know it, he’s holding the man up against a wall, yelling at him for ruining Savasana. The screaming match shows that yoga teachers are like the rest of us: they sometimes lose their cool.
 
OM City dives into the reality of the yoga world, with a particular focus on how chaotic it can be trying to achieve zen in a place like New York City. The series is compassionately funny, and its sharp sense of humor does not disappoint.
 
You can watch the first episode here:
 

 

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Kasia Litwinski

Kasia is a corporate gal who loves to hop into Crow Pose as soon as she gets off work and onto her yoga mat. She especially loves hot vinyasa yoga. With a background in Political Science and Communications, Catherine loves to be loud and uses quotes for advice. Take for example: “Let your love be so big and pure that it shifts the energy in the room.”

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