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February 14, 2018

Yoga – a multi billion dollars business

The idea about this blog started, when I realized a friend of mine left instagram. I looked her up on the other social media platform, which I visit rarely and found a video that she shared. It was a kickstarter campaign for a documentary about how yoga is becoming too commercialized and it actually belongs to small rooms. That yoga is not just about the physical exercise and postures, that are presented on social media and used for marketing.

And I don’t agree! I have enough of the smugness that long practicing yogis are spreading around them. I understand that big companies grabbed the first opportunity, when yoga started to be so popular. But this is the case with everything trendy.

My yoga journey would never start without the hype that’s happening. I’ve been inspired by a picture of a friend’s girlfriend, doing natarajasana on a top of a hill somewhere in Scotland. That was the first time, I considered looking up what this yoga-thing is about. Just moments after, I found myself downloading an app for practicing yoga at home. As with everything else in my life – I search for the digital way of doing things🤷‍♀️

Being very introverted, I was too shy to go to a gym (yes, yoga is mainly taught at gyms at where I used to live at that time). OK, yes I tried! I searched for some yoga studios around me, but they all looked very sketchy and were mostly ashtanga yoga studios. Which for a westerner sounds kind of a scary-ish😂 Pictures on the website looked dark, the whole thing was very outdated. The classes (they were probably Mysore) lasted for two hours! And the idea of spending two hours with strangers in a dark space, doing a thing you never did before… Not very compelling!

So I started at home, with an app, and meanwhile I actually started to go to a gym. I got stronger, I could do more, I started to practice more often. Found a teacher training. Discovered the anatomy and physiology behind the poses. Learned about the history and Principles (!) of yoga. Started to take the practice out of my mat. Slowly, on my own pace.

But the point is, I would never even start, if the only way would be to go to that small dark room🙈 And why it should stay that way? Why only few people should be allowed to do it? This is the world we live in now, and we are not going to change it so radically so fast. In order to share yoga with more people, we have to make it available for everyone. If that means, yoga becomes popular and large companies will use it for earning more money, let’s not judge them and instead first we can just observe them in a meditative and peaceful way. This all will mean, that more people will get to know about yoga. Discovering it first through the superficial way 🤷‍♀️, but hopefully getting to know it deeper and slowly transforming into yogis that follows the right principles.

And even if they never go beyond the asana practice! Building up a habit of physical exercise not just makes people stronger and healthier, but also improves their confidence. Every asana practice teaches the practitioners to be compassionate (with themselves, but with others too), the right breathing techniques to deal with anxiety and depression and mindfulness. Basically making people happy. Happy people don’t need to start wars, they have more time to reflect about themselves, the world, the universe, because their mind isn’t unfocused, jumping from one thought to another. Overall, the global yoga thing doesn’t sound like a bad deal, even if few companies will earn their evil money with it…

To end this tiny rant of mine, next time you feel like this is not how things should be, please don’t leave instagram! Hehe😂 I miss you my friend!

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