You might imagine how obscure yoga was in the advent of its day. With a few bearded men in caves secretly â€˜omingâ€™ themselves into higher states of consciousness, and barely a whisper of its benefits landing only on select ears, yoga used to be as rare as rain in the desert. Today it is highly unlikely that we will find a town without at least one yoga studio, and in some cities, there might even be a place to practice on every street
corner. As one would expect with anything that explodes in popularity, people are putting their own spin on yoga, and looking for new ways to practice.
In the late 1960â€™s, several respected Indian gurus brought yoga to the west. Americaâ€™s introduction to Kundalini, Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga created a small yet devout group of followers who practiced the traditional methods as taught from the masters. Sticking to the rigid principals and concepts, these classic styles of yoga attracted those with discipline and a strong desire to live a yogic lifestyle.
Today, yoga in America is a 6 billion dollar industry with over 16 million practitioners. Its popularity is mindboggling and the demographics of people who practice are extensive. From retired couch potatoes to retired athletes, yogaâ€™s benefits are now seeping into the minds and bodies of all types.
Who knew that 5000 years after the birth of yoga weâ€™d be throwing yoga parties, complete with champagne and glow sticks, teaching yoga to our four legged friends, and doing an inverted lotus pose whilst hanging from a silk hammock? The course that yoga has taken over the last forty years is truly fascinating.
The following is a quick look at the wildest yoga trends to grace our nation.
The Yoga Rave
Inspired by the Art of Living Foundation, a yoga rave is a party like no other party youâ€™ve ever experienced. If post-yoga savasana bliss isnâ€™t enough, try doing yoga under a blinking laser show to trance-like tunes for four continuous hours and then see how you feel.
Workout and Wine
Some of us do it anyway, letâ€™s admit it. We go to yoga and then pop open a nice bottle of red. What could be better? Several New York City gyms that offer yoga classes are now serving alcohol to their patrons after class. Your yoga and fitness center just became a one stop shopping experience! Pick up some inner peace and then add a martini to your basket of goodies.
Bare Naked Bakasana
For those of you who are familiar with crow pose, seeing someone do it in the nude might entirely change your perception of the practice. Although for some, naked yoga is much more liberating and confidence enhancing than expensive psychotherapy.
Perhaps we can wait another forty years for a class that combines all three of these wild trends. When the Alcohol Induced Naked Yoga Rave class becomes all the rage, I will be searching for a bearded man in a cave.
April 9th, 2012