Recently I was inspired by two of my fav yoginis Rachel and Emma who blogged about how to become a yoga teacher and what they don’t teach you in training. I know there are many of you out there who are thinking about pursuing such a dream. Sometimes I feel like I’m still dreaming and other times I feel like I’m in a nightmare… especially when there are people out there (loved ones, mind you!) who will continually doubt your career choice and tell you it’s just a fad. Well I have been involved in a project where I had to do a bit of research on the yoga industry. I’m not an expert in market research, but what I found was not surprising… yoga is more popular than ever. Is it a fad? I don’t know… but you can spit these 11 trends into the face of those doubters 🙂
1. Yoga goes high tech
I mean who isn’t high tech nowadays? Even an ancient practice like yoga is flooding the internet with online yoga classes thru podcasts and streaming video. (Yes! I jumped on that bandwagon).
2. Social activisim
At the heart of every yogi and yogini there is a duty that calls… one of service to better humanity. It’s estimated that there are 15 million people doing yoga today. Can you imagine the
goodness greatness that these people are doing? A simple google search on ‘yoga acitivism’ returns pages and pages of organizations and yogis/yoginis who are committed to bring the power of yoga to nooks and crannies of the world. My favorites: YogaAid, Off the Mat into the World, Michael Franti, Africa Yoga Project, and whole bunch others. Whether you become a celebrity yoga activist or not, the practice teaches us compassion. It begins within our own bodies and that my friends, makes all the difference in the world.
3. Yoga festivals
Two years ago I didn’t even know about any yoga festivals… last year I attended one, Wanderlust. For 2011, Wanderlust is in there third year and have added a second festival. Other’s I know of: Ojai Yoga Crib, Bhakti Fest, Telluride Yoga Fest, Evolve Fest. Let’s not forget about the whole month of September dedicated to Yoga Month and the numerous yoga conferences out there.
4. Yoga Stuff
Yoga mats. Yoga blocks. Yoga socks. Yoga towels. Yoga this, yoga that. So yoga sells. Some argue it’s gone crazy commercialized. But isn’t that a good thing on some level? Even though some have never tried it, most have heard of it and gosh! you can get a yoga mat at Border’s bookstore. Speaking of mats, there’s one of every color and flavor out there. One could argue that a practitioner doesn’t need all that, but hey every good cook needs a pot and pan!
5. Yoga for dogs!? Yoga for athletes. Yoga for stiff guys and grumpy old trolls? Yoga for menapause, for relaxation, for kids, for celebrities, for anything with a heart beat? There are a myriad of “traditional” yoga styles plus another spectrum of hybrid styles. There’s a flavor for everyone… or maybe these are just the trends that push yoga into the fad category.
6. New Studios
I bet at least one new studio opened up around you. In my neck of the woods, 8 studios opened their doors of bliss in the past year. That’s 8!!
7. Yoga bloggers
How could I not add this to the list. When people are passionate about something, they talk about it. They write about it and most of all they share it. It’s obvious there are a ton of amazing yoga blogs out there (check the list to the right for my favs!)
8. Yoga in schools
In some parts of the world, yoga is now a part of their P.E. curriculum. If we are educating the young ones on this practice, imagine how yoga is going to explode… cause after all, the kids are our future right?
9. Yoga is #11 on the top 20 list of fitness trends
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) ranked yoga as #11 out of 20 top 2011 fitness trends.
10. Yoga Retreats
I personally know a handful of teachers who are offering yoga vacations and retreats to far off distant tropical places not only once but several times a year. Each trip is usually sold out… people crave it!
11. And finally, how many yoga magazines are out there?!
Whether yoga is a fad or not, why not just pursue it for you? Even if you don’t want to become a teacher, you eventually will end up a teacher whether you like it or not. One of my favorite things Baron says is “in the end you either are an example or a warning!” What if you just did what made you happy? What message would you send to the world?