Yoga Gives So Much More Than A Tight Tush
Yoga is HOT! I'm not talking about sweaty hot yoga, and i'm not talking about sexy hot. I'm talking about yoga being hot, as in popular. There is no denying the mass influx of new yogis every day. The newly released 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance shows that the number of US yoga practitioners has increased to more than 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012. But without reading a white paper article, I can tell you from my own observance of countless wide-eyed new yogis I meet everyday, that the numbers are pretty impressive. Why the sudden growth? Why now?
Yoga is anywhere from 150 years to 5,000 years old depending on who you ask and their definition of yoga. If you look at seated meditation postures like Lotus Pose, it is closer to 5,000 years old; the more active form of yoga (similar to how we know it today) is about 150 years old. But I digress. In the past, yoga was only taught in specific yoga schools in India and was taught to students, often orphans, from a very young age. Even when yoga entered the Western Hemisphere, it was still considered an esoteric practice with yoga studios being almost non-existent and many of the classes private lessons for celebrities and people who could afford the time and money. But I'm not here to give a history lesson on yoga. I am here launching a blog about yoga and so if you're reading this, you're either a yoga practitioner, interested in practicing yoga, or a hater (haha, -hey, I'm just being real here). So, back to my point. Yoga is spreading like wildfire because it works! It has simply been a well kept secret and now that the word is out, there really isn't a corporation, hospital, health system, or person on your block that isn't trying to incorporate it somehow. But, why now? Well, in the past, accessibility was a problem. Twenty years ago, you probably didn't have several yoga studios within your own town to choose from and if you had even one, you could consider yourself lucky. And then, yoga began to spread. People like Bikram Choudhury, the creator of the Bikram yoga, franchised yoga, capitalized on it, and suddenly it began to spread even more. Other types of yoga started spreading too because it started making people curious about yoga and all these so-called health benefits that people touted. But the secret is out and the biggest part of the secret is that it is not just a workout, it is a game changer!
Suddenly, you can walk into any store like Target, and see "namaste" plastered across t-shirts. It's literally everywhere you go! People are really into it and when people are really into stuff, there are usually other people trying to capitalize on it. But why are people really into this yoga thing? It's because it's not just a physical practice and it works!
Yoga is a mental practice of patience, self-discipline, self-love, and love for others. It is a practice of community and charity. It is a practice of relaxation and meditation. It is a healer of the body and of past injuries and a preventer of future injuries. It gives hope to people and helps them manage diseases like Parkinson's and Arthritis. It is a respite for someone going through a divorce or the death of a loved one. It is an escape for a busy parent that just needs some me-time. The list goes on and on and on.
But the point I'm trying to make, is yoga is a tool. Yoga is whatever you are currently needing whether you know it or not. I had a teacher that once told me "yoga gives you confidence when you need it the most and it also gives you humility when you need it the most". It really incorporates a level of awareness unacheivable in any other way.
So if you practice, you don't need me to tell you about the benefits, because you already know! If you are considering practicing, yoga will be a completely unique individual experience for you because it is a very personal journey! If you're here just to find something you don't like about my blog, I hope you found what you were looking for!