For an activity that involves slow physical movements and quiet meditation, yoga is on the move, and fast!
While you might be forgiven for thinking only young, bendy women do yoga, you’d be wrong.
Instead, dogs are doing the downward, cats are stretching up a storm and men and women of all ages have jumped on-board as they realise the benefits of this ancient tradition.
And ancient it is.
Yoga spans back thousands of years and over those many millennia it hasn’t stopped evolving.
So why stop now?
A recent study in Australia revealed that the majority of those who did yoga were well-educated women in their 40s, BUT this is rapidly changing as yoga expands outside of the studio and into people’s homes and offices.
Did you know that some world number one tennis players swear by it? That yoga teachers are now a common sight in the office? And, a growing appreciation for ‘mindfulness’
and its link to yoga has seen the practice becoming a common sight in the classroom?
So, what’s the biggest market yet to be fully tapped?
Only the other half of the population!
Men are quickly turning to yoga as a way to not only increase fitness and flexibility, but to also help them deal with the stresses of everyday life. The International Journal of Yoga’s 2012 study noted that the most dominant health-related motivation for practicing yoga was mental health.
And for those men feeling a little unsure about some of those positions, there are options available for newbies.
‘Broga’ is now a common term for male-oriented yoga classes in many communities and by giving men a space in which to practice, learn and meditate without feeling self-conscious about those awkward grunts, it continues to challenge the idea that yoga is a women-centric activity.
That isn’t to say we can’t all get along though.
Both men and women continue to flock to one of yoga’s most challenging but popular disciplines. Hot yoga classes are leading the charge in yoga’s popularity due mostly to the mental clarity a solid sweat can induce.
People seem to love saunas, so why not hot yoga?
If the idea of stretching in 40 degrees for an hour doesn’t appeal - and who can blame you - there are still so many varieties of to choose from, and this is precisely yoga’s appeal.
While perhaps that like a good yawn, good posture is just contagious, it is yoga’s many manifestations that drive its popularity. There are so many different disciplines and ways to practice yoga, which means there are always opportunities for teachers to find new audiences who are after different things.
Which yoga to start with?
There is no wrong answer here. Yes, there seem to be countless forms to choose from, but knowing why you want to try yoga will help you decide.
We’ve also made things simple by grouping our yoga classes into three categories: Strength, Align and Calm.
Check them out for yourself with a free Intro to Yoga during March!