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Natalia Mehlman Petrzela
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Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is Assistant Professor of Education Studies and History at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City, and the co-founder of HealthClass2.0, a program dedicated to engaging young people in inspired dialogue and action around fitness and food. Her book, Classroom Wars: Sex, Language, and the Creation of Modern Political Culture is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She also teaches intenSati at Equinox Fitness Clubs.

Entries by Natalia Mehlman Petrzela

(Trying to) Speak Truth to Power: Ten Observations From My 90 Minutes With Lululemon's CEO

(1) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 4:23 PM


Six months after I decided to "hang up my Lulus" due to troubling attitudes among top leadership at Lululemon Athletica, I got my moment to speak truth to power. At the Yoga Journal conference, I sat on a panel with Lululemon...

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Why This Lululemon Scandal Is Different

(92) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 5:09 PM

"SO?! How about the Lulu thing?" about 20 messages flashed insistently when I turned on my phone.

Thirty seconds on Twitter caught me up: Lululemon Athletica founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson had glibly explained away apparent issues with the company's legendary stretchy pants by locating the problems with...

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Marianne Williamson for Congress: A New Age for American Politics?

(16) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 8:01 AM

Marianne Williamson is running for Congress. If you aren't one of her half a million social media followers or don't frequent the New Age bookstores and "wellness centers" in which her books are runaway bestsellers, you might have missed the news. Far beyond Los Angeles' 33rd district in which Williamson...

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On Wellness and Class in America (And Why Thug Kitchen and That Soul-Cycle-For-the-Homeless Guy Are -- Not? -- So Funny)

(2) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 11:57 AM

If your social media feeds look anything like mine, you won't be surprised by this recent screenshot of a popular online magazine about New York City's increasingly swank wellness culture:


So? Why should we care that Well...

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On Eden Foods, Motherhood, and the Politics of 'Natural Living'

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 6:32 PM

In the last few weeks, Eden Foods, the nation's oldest organic and natural foods producer, has come under fire from its soy-milk swilling and quinoa-cooking clientele, who were ostensibly drawn to Eden by the purity of its products and of its liberal politics. The issue is Eden CEO...

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Choose Love, Not Fear in 2013

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 6:47 PM

"Everything happens for a reason," the saying goes, and the same self-help culture that gives us that maxim has made it reflexive to respond to bad things by seeking "the lesson" or even "the perfection in every moment." Clichéd as it's become, this dogged commitment to find meaning in --...

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School Wellness: The Latest Frontier in the Culture Wars?

(3) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 12:28 PM

It was "showdown day" last Tuesday at a packed-to-capacity meeting of the Encinitas, California school board, during which the board faced angry threats of litigation in a heated dispute far afield of those predictable curricular lightning rods, sex education or science instruction. The embattled program is yoga.


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Educating the Whole Child

(19) Comments | Posted March 5, 2012 | 11:35 AM

Ask educated people who the most influential thinker in American education is, and many will probably say John Dewey. Known as the "father of progressivism," the early 20th century philosopher championed educating "the whole child" for participation in a democratic society, particularly through hands-on experience and a broad pedagogy emphasizing...

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