The Commercialization of Yoga in the West By Armaan Kakodkar

An Introductory Guide to Classic Yoga

Yoga was started in India. Yoga in the West is very different from its original form. The original form, Yoga was a lifestyle. Yoga includes breathing, meditation, physical stretches, community service and many other aspects. In the west however, we mainly focus on physical yoga and don't do it properly. By doing this we are not following the cause that Yoga is meant for and we are actually destroying our bodies.

The Transition to the West

Yoga spread to the west around 1970. Before this time, a lot of hippies would go to India to achieve enlightenment. The majority of young people found this quite funny as these Indians wanted to become more like the west. With Yoga spreading to the west, new forms needed to be created to keep people happy and keep the business industry booming. There are so many different types of Yoga these days because the industry wants everyone to have a Yoga for them.

New Forms of Yoga: Bad for the Body, Good for the Money

"Hot yoga, cold yoga, bible study yoga, yoga for skiers, outdoors yoga, yoga for babies. There are studios, such as Baby Bliss in Denver, which offer mom and tot classes. The Yoga Prison Project conducts yoga with incarcerated persons, Yoga Hope in Boston serves abused women and addicts. Many of these activities completely ignore the spiritual realm for which yoga was created, and most are more akin to stretching, or in the case of Yoga Sculpt, a workout. In fact, most “yoga” in America is not yoga at all." (http://catalystnewspaper.com/archive/yoga-in-the-western-world-the-fruitless-search-for-yogic-authenticity/) Quoted brilliantly here, this just sums up how many different fruitless forms of Yoga there. Most of the Yoga isn't even real Yoga. It doesn't follow the teachings of Yoga, it does not help breath, it does not improve the quality of life, but it simply improves you status in society. Let us address one specific form of Yoga, just so we can get an understanding about what Western forms of Yoga do to our bodies... Hot Yoga. This Yoga is absolutely the worst possible Yoga technique. Bikram Choudhury came up with this techniques. Most Americans love sweating while working out. This makes them feel good. So what did he do? He turned up the heat in every room and people loved it. I mean loved it. So people are sweating like crazy but are also way more flexible. Heat makes your joints loose and while many people thinks that this is good, it is actually horrible for you. Your joints are over-stretching and you may actually tear a ligament. Overall, hot Yoga is just horrible for you, as are almost any other American type of Yoga.

Apparel, Really Nothing to do With Yoga.

Lululemon was started when Yoga first moved to the US. In the US people are all about showing off their bodies so what Lululemon did was that they made clothes which had nothing to do with Yoga but were very trendy. These clothes were pricey, but "cool", thus LuluLemon hit a sweet spot on the market. Classic Yoga outfits consist of loosely fitted cotton clothes.

Picture citation: http://static6.businessinsider.com/image/553fb20d6da8116d3ba2755a-1601/lululemon-men.jpg

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