Janelle Monae really, really likes yoga—so much that she wrote an entire song about it. The R&B singer’s newest video “Yoga,” featuring Jidenna, is the first to be released from her upcoming label compilation Wondaland Presents: The Eephus. Whether you bend it, flex it, or stretch it, Monae wants to see it all—but she won’t do it herself.
If you were hoping to see Monae do the mountain pose, the cobra, or maybe the down dog, you’ll be a bit disappointed. The video begins with Monae levitating in a meditative pose within a well-lit room that appears to be a yoga studio—and that’s about as close as she gets. Once the video reaches the chorus, the yoga studio becomes a dance party—and the electro-beat mixed with the dancers’ synchronized clapping reads more “club” than “relaxing exercise.”
Suddenly, we are actually inside a yoga studio with people doing actual yoga on actual mats. In the middle of it all is Monae, but instead of getting on her own mat, she’s grooving and popping while wearing a stylish, gold … crown. As she sings, “I’m too much a rebel / never do what I’m supposed ta,” we’re reminded that Monae can move however she’d like—because she’s the Q.U.E.E.N.
For reasons unknown, the end of the video shifts to the inside of a restaurant after-hours, with Jidenna sitting at a table for a candlelight dinner—and if you had any suspicions that “yoga” is code for “sex,” Jidenna’s lackluster verse confirms just that. Finally, everyone invades the establishment for a sensual dance finale—and it appears that nirvana has been achieved once everyone has joined in to “do that yoga.” The “Tightrope” singer is all about movement and freedom, and while “Yoga” is entertaining for its catchy chorus, it just doesn’t capture Monae’s unique soul-funk vibe. And be warned, you won’t be able to do a down dog ever again without hearing Monae’s sultry voice encouraging you along. Namaste.
Featured Image Courtesy of Epic Records