The art of yoga dates back thousands of years, originating in ancient India as a means of achieving enlightenment. In recent years, the mind-freeing techniques, which have ties to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, have also become a mainstream form of exercise for the body as well as the mind, which E! News reports are all because of actress Gwyneth Paltrow–or at least, that’s the way she sees it.
“I remember when I started doing yoga and people were like, ‘What is yoga? She’s a witch. She’s a freak,'” she said during a new interview with WSJ Magazine.
“Forgive me if this comes out wrong, but I went to a yoga class in LA recently and the 22-year-old girl behind the counter was like, ‘Have you ever done yoga before?'” she recalled. “And I literally turned to my friend, and I was like, ‘(She has) this job because I’ve done yoga before.'”
To no surprise, “yogis” on social media were quick to respond to the Goop founder’s claims, pointing out the long history of the practice that’s been around well before the birth of everyone on the planet.
“OMG. It was really Gwyneth Paltrow who wrote the Yoga Sutras THOUSANDS of years ago?! Wow, and she time travels!! What an idiot. She is Hollywood’s Trump in terms of narcissism.,” one user wrote on Twitter.
Swear to god during yoga today my teacher whispered “inhale - did you hear we all only know about yoga because of Gwyneth Paltrow - exhale.”— Goldie Goldberg (@GoldieGoldberg) December 5, 2018
“I invite her to go to my mother’s bookshelf and read all the 70s tomes by Kareen Zebroff and other ladies in burgundy leotards,” another responded to the actress’s claims.
where were you when gwyneth paltrow invented yoga? pic.twitter.com/4ChTlgzndz— Bree Player ◟̽◞̽ (@breeplayer) December 5, 2018
Others cited examples of other famous faces that began practicing yoga long before the Iron Man actress, including Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, and Michael Jackson, all of whom Fox 29 noted were clients of Bikram Choudhury’s Bikram yoga movement in the 1970s.
This is Quincy Jones doing yoga in Los Angeles in the late 70’s early 80’s Gwyneth Paltrow was the instructor...she was about five years old. pic.twitter.com/3xswKM3ugF— Tabala Jali Thomas (@TabalaJali) December 5, 2018
While her claims about the ancient practices are a little far-fetched, Gwyneth does have a fairly loyal following to her wellness brand Goop, which originally launched as a lifestyle newsletter and later transformed into “contextual commerce” that offers advice on all aspects of life as well as products for sale that range from skincare regimens to clothing.
And while Goop has a number of firm believers, it also receives criticism and mocking by the media, though Paltrow explained the harsh words no longer bother her because they eventually led to people’s curiosity surrounding the lifestyle she promotes.
“It’s so beautiful to see people feeling empowered by natural solutions or ancient modalities alongside science and medicine,” she said.