Are we in the Era of a Yoga Movement?
Yoga. An ancient Indian art form thousands of years old has now become a global phenomenon affecting our popular culture, our lifestyles, our eating habits and most of all our bodies, minds and spirits.
But how can this ancient form of art evolve through such a modern western world? If you have ever tried yoga you may be able to answer this question quite easily. If you have not yet tried it, then let me offer you some guidance on how yoga can make you feel. For all its weird and wonderful shapes and stretching techniques it can give you a deep sense of peace, and joy. But why would one need this when we can go shopping, or go out clubbing, or go on holiday?
Because sometimes without realizing it these activities can be an act of avoidance, or of not facing the truth of how we really feel inside. Yes, in the short term they can provide us with happiness, and ‘escape’ from hardships or disappointments, but when we do finally come back to the reality of these things, nothing has really changed.
Yoga is about change. It is about evolving and adapting to the truth of ourselves by reducing stress, improving our mood and feeling at ease within our environment. Perhaps this is why Yoga has brought about so much change in individual lifestyles today. We can now see many celebrities practicing yoga like Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Demi Moore, Heather Graham, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and the list goes on…!
Comedian Russell Brand is also an avid yoga fan practicing regularly, but in his recent interview with Paxman that went viral on You Tube he discusses his radical views of the political system. He calls for a revolution to over throw the current structure, however what is this revolution he is referring to?
We can see a revolution as “a turn around”, a fundamental change in power and organizational structures, within a short time frame. By motivating our ideologies we can witness a change in our culture, even our economy, and further to our political views of the world. Is Russell Brand an extreme voice of this change? Or a true voice of this change?
With this extremity comes the economy of Yoga. Brands such as Lululemon Athletica Inc. has a market cap of over US$8.9 billion on the stock market. And other brands looking to reach this growth, more locally like Sweaty Betty, which interestingly has now moved their stores across the pond to the US. Sports brands have been working with yoga apparel for years with athletes taking on the practice as part of their training such as Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
From yoga room’s at airports to studio’s on every corner in the US, corporate yoga across London offices and health and well - being programme’s designed to improve corporate living, are we witnessing a yoga movement era?
Not to mention hybrids of yoga and fusion classes popular in the UK like Voga (Yoga and ‘Vogueing’!), Laughing Yoga and Budokon Yoga (Yoga & Martial Arts)…. I think it’s pretty clear to see that Yoga is here to stay. In an era where we are advancing so fast technologically, the need to stay true to ourselves, and advance in tune with this change is by stepping on the mat, and doing yoga.
Yoga Teacher & Therapeutics Specialist