By Gopi Rao
Everyone agrees that Yoga has become more mainstream in the world today. With Yogic methods in the limelight, however, there is increasing focus on styles, trends, and fads sweeping through the community. Unfortunately, some of these trends are annoying and even detrimental. Here are eight trends that many Yoga teachers wish would end as soon as possible.
1. Articles on how Yoga can hurt you. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and LA Times have all run articles on people suffering Yoga-related injuries and how shocking it is that some practitioners have experienced injuries during their practice. Of course there are some injuries during practice; all exercise carries some degree of risk. In a country where Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 234,000 nonfatal injuries a year occur near the bathtub, shower, toilet and sink, it’s time to end alarmist articles about ‘deadly Yoga.’
2. Making a big deal that Yoga can grow with high tech applications. Crying about online learning, videos, forums and other technology-embracing practices, since Yoga is seen as ancient and traditional. To stay current, Yoga must change and adapt, and to belabor the ‘unusual’ mix of high tech and low tech is becoming tedious.
3. Competitive Yoga. Pitching practitioners against each other to rate them may raise the profile in the short-term, but does not further the goals long term.
4. Rock Star Yoga teachers. Yes, there is a long history of gurus in Yoga. Following a teacher devotedly is one thing, but cults of personality and paparazzi photos in InStyle magazine are not generally in keeping with goals cultivated within Yoga. Passionately pursuing publicity does not enhance one’s Yoga teacher skills.
5. Ever more expensive props. A block made of sustainable koa wood may be a beauty to behold, but you can be properly supported by a cinder block, if necessary.
6. Not establishing cleaning guidelines for studio space. Too many studios seem to think that Yoga’s values are enough to keep their space pristine. MRSA outbreaks in gyms occur across the U.S. and shared Yoga mats and equipment are at risk in any practice area. Provide wipes and encourage good equipment hygiene.
7. Mixing alcohol or drugs with Yoga. Tasting wine or smoking marijuana in combination with Yoga does nothing for your practice and may cause negative effects in your life.
8. Twee names for classes. Fast on the heels of ‘fusion’ Yoga styles are names for new classes like “Toga Yoga” (done in bedsheets) or women-only “Lady yoGa Ga,” and the like. If you would feel stupid telling the Dalai Lama the name of your class, perhaps you should re-think it.
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