|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 112 ]
Yoga has reached unprecedented popularity worldwide.
In most every major city in the world you would be hard-pressed to walk a few blocks without seeing evidence of it -- studios and clubs offering yoga classes, billboard, and posters with beautiful models striking yoga-like poses selling anything from cars to computers, dog food to toothpaste, vacations to mutual funds.
Fashionable clothing lines are sported as 'yoga wear', pre-packaged snacks and supplements as 'yoga food', relaxing at tropical resorts as the 'yoga vacation getaway', and the lean, toned, and youthful figure IS the 'yoga body'.
The word yoga can be overheard in casual conversation just about anywhere now. Yoga is here and it’s hip, and let’s face it, if you haven’t been to a yoga class yet, you're fast becoming a part of the minority.
But do any of these things really have anything to do with yoga? The word yoga has penetrated nearly every facet of modern culture, but has 'yoga' itself done the same?
Are we healthier? Are we less stressed? Do we feel more fulfilled with our lives? Do we know ourselves better? Are we happier? Are we living more harmoniously with each other, with nature, and with ourselves? Are we at peace?
With an objective look around us, most of us would likely find it quite a stretch to answer 'yes' to any of those questions. So what happened?
It’s undeniable that a huge marketing machine has now gained control of the yoga reigns. Grey-bearded Indian men in saffron robes have been pushed aside as the relentless images of young, toned and tattooed urban hipsters in stylish attire continue to penetrate our psyches at every turn with some form or another of yoga reference.
Yet all the while a vague and ambiguous representation of yoga is still maintained, with the implication that yoga is as much about style and self-image as it is about anything else. This image-engine behind the modern yoga movement continues to side-step skilfully around the heart and soul of yoga itself, a heart and soul which in many ways is inconsistent with the very imagery that is being portrayed today.
Is it no wonder that most people are downright confused when it comes to knowing what yoga is?
Nowadays even many yoga teachers are unable to expand on most of the concepts and principles of yoga, much of which falls outside of the framework of the often narrow and insufficient training and experience that most of them have received (yes, I said 'most').
In modern times, folks often enter into the realm of yoga teaching as a career choice, the same as a doctor, musician or electrician, albeit at a much lesser level of training then these other professionals...
Yoga In The Modern World - Part 2 >>
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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