Not long ago, the practice of yoga in America was limited to a few health clubs and yoga centers where people would gather to learn the most popular postures and poses. Sure, there have always been some diehard yoga practitioners that would travel to India and study with a yoga master, but the average person stuck with a weekly class at their local yoga studio.
My, how things have changed in the past 20 years! Today there are yoga retreats, yoga weekends, yoga stores, online yoga classes, and yoga festivals. People who used to just dabble in the practice are now becoming yoga junkies, and it seems like the trend is growing even faster than anyone anticipated. Some believe that yoga has grown in popularity because it’s a relaxing way to promote good health. Others point to a widespread yearning for spiritual growth. Life has gotten busier and anxiety is a serious problem in America. People need to develop the ability to remain centered so they focus on the task at hand. Yoga offers that a type of physical and spiritual refreshment that is not easily duplicated by other forms of exercise.
What are the most notable new trends in yoga?
Some of these may sound a little far-fetched, but we checked them out and they are all legitimate. And they offer further proof that yoga is more than just a passing fad or another wellness craze.
Hi-Tech Yoga – Can’t find the time to visit your local yoga center for a weekly class? No problem. Join others who are in the same predicament in a virtual yoga class, complete with streaming video and time for a Q & A with the instructor.
Yoga Activism – Did you know that more than 15 million people practice yoga regularly? An audience this size can be an enormous influence on society, especially when they unite behind a cause or project. Simply do a Google search on “yoga activism” and you will find numerous pages about organizations and yogis who support events like the Africa Yoga Project, YogaAid and more.
Yoga Fests – If you’ve never heard of a yoga festival, then you may be surprised at how popular they really are. One of the best-known events is Wanderlust, which is so popular it has added a second annual festival. Others, such as Bhakti Fest, Evolve Fest and Telluride Yoga offer an unforgettable experience for the yoga lover.
Yoga for Everyone – It used to be that the “yoga demographic” could be described in a few words – young, well-educated and free-spirited. Looking at the variety of yoga specialists out there now, it’s clear that yoga has gone main-stream. Now there is yoga for menopause, celebrity yoga, yoga for kids, executives, expecting mothers and more. The unspoken message here is there’s no excuse not to be practicing yoga. What’s next – yoga for pets?
Yoga “stuff” – Isn’t yoga supposed to make life seem simpler; the mind less cluttered? That may be true, but it is also becoming a huge commercial industry. Instead of rolling up a yoga mat and heading to your local yoga studio, you may want to bring yoga towels, yoga blocks and yoga socks.
Yoga blogs – Learning about yoga has gone viral, thanks to a proliferation of blogs from passionate yoga instructors. Subscribing to a few of these yoga blogs offers a quick way to learn some important tips. Check out the yoga forums to see what others have to say about popular topics in yoga.
Yoga music – Not every yoga instructor uses music during class, but for some people it is a part of the relaxation process. If practicing yoga works better for you when listening to certain music, it may be worthwhile to purchase some soothing tunes.
Yoga retreats – last but not certainly not least, the yoga retreat is a huge trend in yoga. Drawing on a diverse international audience of Zen practitioners, spiritual seekers and everyday yoga practitioners, the yoga retreat is a growing segment of the travel industry. There is a yoga retreat to meet almost everyone’s taste, schedule and budget, from weekend beach retreats to 10-day “mountaintop experiences.”
If you’ve never tried yoga or you haven’t done it in a while, now is a great time to get started. You will find a better choice of classes with well-trained yoga instructors, plus countless ways to enjoy yoga in non-traditional ways.