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The future of yoga. Where is once-sacred practice headed? I am sure everyone has seen it advertised everywhere; from poster board advertisements, to well-known companies like Lululemon. It’s obviously a source of revenue these days, but where is the meaning behind it going?
As it has evolved from practicing yoga for meditation and seeking self-truth from thousands of years ago, to the Western 21st century where it is commonly used as a fitness routine, it’s easy to forget the meaning and the determination that was put into it by cultures before Western- Commercialization. A practice once held close in the past is now more widely known these days as an industry and target for sales.
North American Culture & Yoga
But does this mean it has lost its spiritual meaning as it has been diluted by Western culture? I think not. Asking yogis that I know, they say they still prefer to attend yoga. They say this because of the abundance of benefits they get from yoga.
In such a rush-rush society, one becoming known for the lack of empathy and understanding between fellow humans yoga stands out. With the pressure to be better and more, yoga is still being held close to people looking for ways to cope with stress. Yoga helps people find acceptance and truth in the core of themselves, and to focus on the now, not the past or the future.
In addition to the physical benefits, I am finding more people are using it as a stress relief; a countering tool to therapy for mental illness. There of course are still people who are very spiritual, in which case, yoga is very rewarding to practice alongside as a way to answers for questions for one self, coming to terms with certain aspects of life, and controlling the way they react to life’s downs.
At just a glance, I can see the yoga movement, both from a business side and spiritual side, evolving together beautifully. The accessibility is already amazing. More places (like Karma Yoga, where I attend) are offering drop in classes in Victoria, classes for relief of mental illness, and flexibility to work classes around schedules, and memberships – as well yoga teacher trainings in Victoria, Hamilton, and Vancouver– for fractions of the cost of what they used to be charged.
From starting out as a practice amongst a group of people, it is now a popular routine by thousands of people around the world. And that’s pretty cool, isn’t it?