Yoga has exploded in popularity over the last few years, with studios opening up nationwide and abroad. Many people also practice yoga in their homes. While many see this as a fad that will end eventually, the evidence points to something entirely different. The International Yoga Federation says that 300 million people around the world do yoga, but what is it exactly that draws so many people to it? It’s important to understand this to understand how its popularity will continue to grow and why everyone should practice it. Here are some reasons why the popularity of yoga seems like it will never stop growing and why its popularity may be here to stay for quite some time.
Benefits of Taking Yoga
Yoga has so many benefits for both the body and mind. Yoga can improve the body's flexibility, strength, posture, and breathing. It also helps people with back pain and high blood pressure. According to WHO, regular yoga practice by people of all ages can help prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which claim the lives of 41 million people each year worldwide. For the mind, yoga can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It's well-documented by the National Institutes of Health that yoga helps people cope with stress and improves their mental well-being. Plus, yoga is a great way to connect with oneself and others. Attending yoga classes can reduce feelings of isolation and create a safe space for healing and support amongst a group of like-minded people. Being recognized as a unique individual who everyone listens to and participating in creating a personalized yoga plan reduces loneliness even in one-on-one sessions.
Different Types Of Yoga
Hatha, one of the most popular forms of yoga, focuses on poses that stretch the body, strengthen muscles and help regulate breath work. Vinyasa classes are typically faster-paced than Hatha classes, focusing on synchronizing movement with breath. Bikram is often called hot yoga because practitioners exercise in rooms heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Ashtanga yoga requires each student to practice the same sequence of postures at a slow pace while focusing on breathing and meditating. For all types of yoga to be successful, students need to know how to do each pose and understand what they're trying to achieve. Each type has its benefits, so it's important to find the type that meets specific needs. For example, Bikram yoga is perfect for detoxifying the body, while Hatha yoga is a great way to relax and de-stress.
Costs and Equipment Needed
Not much is needed to get started with yoga. A comfortable place to practice, a mat, and some loose, comfortable clothing are all that a person needs. That being said, some costs are associated with getting started with yoga. A yoga mat, for example, can cost anywhere from $20 to $100. Other important equipment include props such as blankets, blocks, and straps to help with the practice. But these are certainly not necessary for a beginner- they may come later as the person becomes a pro in this ancient practice. People on a tight budget can even borrow mats from friends or local yoga studios. The benefits of practicing yoga will quickly outweigh any initial costs, so it’s important to try it.
Yoga appears to be gaining popularity as more people turn to it for stress relief, improved health, greater flexibility, and focus in their daily lives. Numerous yoga styles are available, all of which accomplish the same thing. However, many subtle differences make one style far superior to another, depending on the yogi's needs or interests. Yoga benefits are undeniable for those who practice it regularly.