In the last decade yoga has gone from grungy studios reserved for vegan hippies, to swank infrared studios offering express classes in between business meetings. A form of exercise and mediation once reserved for those outside of the mainstream, yoga is now well and truly entrenched into Western society. Yoga now plays an important part in the capitalist rat race, despite its Eastern Buddhist teachings. Of the 8.7% or 20.4 million people practicing yoga in the US, there is an astonishing 44% of people who call themselves “aspirational yogis”. That’s almost half the population interesting in doing the downward dog! It’s official, yogis can no longer be ignored or placed outside of the mainstream.
The popularity of yoga has not only taken over in big cities and small country towns across the world, but it has also taken off across the internet and social media like a wild fire. With countless amounts of yoga classes available to follow on YouTube or yoga-inspired sites, there is something out there for every kind of yogi, beginner or advanced. Let’s not forget the multi million dollar teacher training or clothing industries, or the multi million dollar yoga retreat industry, catering for those seeking some serenity or enlightenment on their annual vacations.
Yoga is so en vogue that we couldn’t escape the “asana” bombardment even if we wanted to… and really, who wants to! Millions of impressive images are plastered hourly all over social media –especially Instagram— with “yogis” showing off their downward dogs, cobras, cranes, trees, warriors, and half moon poses. The more someone can wrap their leg around their neck or balance their entire body weight on one arm, the more we are impressed. Perhaps it’s just that it gives us hope and something incredible (and attainable) to aspire to.
“Maybe one day I might be able to match that pose if I keep going to the studio.”
These images we see of breath-taking asanas coupled with tropical backdrops and architecturally stunning interiors, what more could a practicing or aspiring yogi want?
Written for thereadersbureau.com