Yoga might be an ancient practice but it has sure changed a lot in the last few decades. We thought it would be fun to look at how different it is today from, say, when your Grandma would have done it.
Here are the Top 7 Ways Yoga Has Changed
There was a time when yoga was yoga. The only difference was who your guru was. Now we have so many styles to choose from – power, hot, joga, pre-natal, SUP… the list is long. Probably the closest yoga to your Grandma’s yoga is Hatha or Ashtanga. But back then it was just you know, yoga.
There was no such thing as yoga wear in the ’60s and ’70s. You either wore a gymnastics leotard or you just wore your everyday clothes. No joke – women did yoga in dress pants and skirts! Of course, today we’ve got way more variety in yoga fashions including yoga dress pants and yoga skirts.
3. Higher Power
If your Granny did yoga, chances are she did it for spiritual reasons. Yoga didn’t really get presented as a form of exercise until the ’80s. Now, there are more yoga enthusiasts who pray to the fitness gods than those who treat it as a spiritual practice.
In the ’60s and ’70s if you said you did yoga people would treat you like a circus freak and demand that you immediately assume the shape of a pretzel for their amusement. Or, they might have backed away slowly lest your attempt to ensnare them into your cult. Today, the slightest mention of your yoga class will more likely be met with an ‘I do yoga too’ and questions about where you practice and who your favourite teachers are.
If you travelled back in time to your Grandma’s yoga class with all of your present-day accouterments they wouldn’t know what to do with them. There were no straps, blocks or bolsters to help you get into a pose – it was just practice and patience. And, a yoga mat? Pfft, you were lucky if you had a fluffy towel!
What yogi today doesn’t dream of escaping to a yoga retreat – a week of yoga in the countryside, a weekend of vinyasa and vino, heck, even a day of yoga-inspired self-empowerment. But, if your Grandma went on retreat, she was either doing a challenging pilgrimage to India and/or she was joining a cult or commune. Either way, it was bound to take a lot longer than a week!
Possibly the biggest change in the last 40 or so years is that yoga has become a marketing tool – a powerful & popular adjective. Advertisers and product developers have discovered that if you slap yoga on the front of something it’s bound to sell like hotcakes. Yoga tea, yoga jeans, yoga bag, yoga chair, yoga dating websites… they all existed before but now they’re better because they’re YOGA!
We’ve come a long way from the ancient practice of yoga. What do you think a yoga class will look like for our grandchildren?