Over the history of the world, yoga has evolved from a religious practiced by holy men in India and Asia, to become part of mainstream fitness all over the world. While exploring the evolution of yoga, it is important to keep in mind the true sense of it. Yoga is a form of meditation, with or without movement. Sitting in lotus pose with focus on the breath and quieting of the mind is the essence of yoga. A practice focused on unblocking the chakras can facilitate relief from a long list of physical and emotional ailments, including, but not limited to, stress, hypertension and depression. .
Chances are you probably know someone that has tried yoga or is considering trying it. The Physical Activity Council's 2012 report found 217 million Americans age six or older actively participate in some form of physical activity or team sport (2012 Participation Report). Of those, 20.4 million Americans practice yoga (Yoga Journal 2012). These numbers continue to grow at a staggering pace as is evidenced by my research. .
The popularity of yoga has also created a business niche for the health and fitness industries and companies that merchandise fitness equipment and apparel. The yoga craze reaches all corners of the world and is not bound by gender, age, spiritual or cultural differences. In its journey from ancient origins to present day, yoga is filled with misinterpretation, mystery, conflict, and confusion. One gets the impression that yoga has been adopted by the Western world like an orphan abandoned by its Indian parents. There are periods in yoga's past that indicate a fall from grace in its native land. In addition, there are many varied characters in the story of its worldwide revival.
I have been caught up in the swell of its popularity. I look to my practice as a method to staying calm and flexible, both physically and mentally. When I am in a routine of regular practice, I notice a difference in my overall physical and mental health.