Where is yoga headed in The West?


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There is no question that the yoga industry has rapidly transformed in the past ten years. As a practitioner and teacher, I have  witnessed these changes with yoga being brought into gyms.

I have also seen the inventions of yoga mixed with hip-hop, muscle weights and no pranayama. With all these inventions, I ask the question: Where is the yoga world headed in The West?

Because honestly, I am concerned. I am concerned about maintaining the purity of yoga that The Indian Culture has kept so sacred for thousands of years.

According to Patanjali (author of the sutras of yoga), yoga has eight limbs. Some of these limbs are not being focused on by different yoga studios in The Western World, particularly here in The U.S.A. There seems to be little-to-no focus on the seven other limbs with only focus on one limb, Asana A.K.A. The postures.

So, what happens when we do asana without the other 7 limbs? Well, we are not doing yoga. It’s that simple. Should we still be calling yoga mixed with hip-hop, muscle weights and 0 spirituality, yoga? Or, do specific studios keep calling this yoga so that students will attend and keep up with the popular trend of getting in their yoga while keeping their physiques? It was estimated that the industry is set to be worth over a $1 billion dollars.

It seems that our need to stay trendy, popular and the need to make money has tainted the true essence of yoga at some yoga studios. My only question is, will it continue?