You might imagine how obscure yoga was in the advent of its day. With a few bearded men in caves secretly ‘oming’ 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 1960’s, several respected Indian gurus brought yoga to the west. America’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, yoga’s benefits are now seeping into the minds and bodies of all types.
Who knew that 5000 years after the birth of yoga we’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.