Yoga By Abigail Morse

I chose “the commercialization of hindu practices (yoga)” for my topic. For my question I decided to investigate, “How did the Hindu practice of yoga get commercialized and what are the different types of yoga that were invented during the commercialization?”. I chose this question because after looking at a few sources I found that it was the most commonly answered question.

Yoga has been commercialized by people from out of the country seeing it done in India and being interested in it. A good example of how yoga was spread in this way is a 98 year old woman named Täo. She was raised in India and traveled with her uncle wherever he went in Asia, and because of this she got accustomed with yoga. And next, Täo traveled to Britain and America where she ended up teaching yoga classes everywhere she went. Another good example of how yoga was spread is the internet. For example, during the time when goat yoga had been thought up of, a news story was posted on the internet about the classes and before anyone knew it there where hundreds of people signing up for goat yoga classes.

The purpose of yoga has changed a little throughout commercialization, but people still do some traditional types of yoga. Certain yoga classes help you to find inner peace, which can be seen as the western way of achieving moksha. Traditional yoga performed today is also all about focusing on your breathing. Then there are instants where the purpose of yoga is still to find inner peace, but they use that purpose of yoga to relax when they’re in a very tense mood. For example when Täo’s husband died, she started focusing on yoga more in order to help herself achieve inner peace and clear her mind of the sad thoughts. Another example of therapy is when Ms. Morse started goat yoga after she got divorced because she wanted the yoga to help clear her mindset.

More modern types of yoga were also formed through commercialisation. For example in goat yoga people aren't trying to find inner peace, they are trying to become one with the goats and the nature around them. And sometimes the goats even cause people to forget about yoga & inner peace and focus on petting them instead. Some people even just look at photos of calming yoga poses on the internet to become relaxed. Also, the people who go to the actual yoga classes will often go there for a workout instead of for relaxation. Then some people have come to using yoga as a way to become famous. For example, Täo was invited all over the world because of how she ‘squashed’ the expectations about the age of people who did yoga. Lots of people like Täo also use yoga to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Even at the national yoga festival in India they are trying get into that book.

So overall, yoga was brought out of the country of India by travelers and the internet, and also throughout the commercialization of yoga new practices were introduced like goat yoga along with versions of the traditional yoga. Yoga is influenced so much by hinduism philosophies such as moksha and freeing your atman to brahman that Americans should really learn the hinduism legacy behind yoga to truly understand the purpose of what they’re doing in yoga.

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