Saturday December 16, 2017
Home Uncategorized How practicin...

How practicing yoga has created a $27 billion industry in America

0
107
2013_1_yogalates_innerbig
credits: timeoutdubai.com

Washington: The world is celebrating the International Day of Yoga on Sunday, but Americans have embraced it for years with a whopping 20.4 million, or nine percent of all American adults, practicing it to fuel a $27 billion industry.

From housewives to stressed executives to fitness enthusiasts, an ever growing number of ‘yogis’ are flocking to Bikram, Ashtanga and Vinyasa studios across the nation, from “America’s Last Frontier” Alaska, to the national capital of Washington and beyond.

Forbes calls San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California as “the most yoga-mad metro area” in America, with its 59 percent of residents more likely to practice yoga than elsewhere. Seattle, home of Microsoft, is next only to San Francisco, which was the first city to set up a yoga room at its airport.

Since President Barack Obama came to power in 2009, the first family has made yoga a part of the annual Easter Egg Roll, the largest public event held at the White House, featuring a ‘Yoga Garden’ on the lawns.

But like all things American, yoga too has gone commercial with the Yoga Journal’s Yoga Market in San Francisco showcasing the latest in yoga apparel & accessories, jewellery, nutrition, natural health & beauty, local studios & retreats.

According to a 2012 study by Sports Marketing Surveys for the Journal, yoga enthusiasts are spending $10.7 billion a year on pants, mats, bags, blocks and other gear, which has witnessed a rise of 88 percent from 2008.

The Yoga Market also has a “Sangha Space” offering a place “in-between, and after class just to un-wind or to enjoy music, community classes, AcroYoga flying sessions, Happy Hours and much more.”

Many breweries have also jumped onto the yoga bandwagon hosting happy hour events, where one can do a yoga class and grab a beer.

BeerYoga ($15 for yoga and a pint), at Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria, on the outskirts of Washington, “has become so popular, that its twice-monthly classes sell out within a day,” according to the Washington Post.

Washington DC’s Hellbender Brewing Company has launched a “Detox to Retox”, a monthly summer series of yoga, tastings and discounts, while Capitol City Brewing Company offers “Asana & Ale” in Shirlington.

“I really see DC as a place where maybe the two most sought after post-work activities are working out in some form or another and attending happy hours with your friends or co-workers,” Amy Rizzotto, a yoga instructor/nutrition coach was quoted as saying.

At times, conservative Christian parents in New York and California have raised objections to yoga, calling its use in schools as religious indoctrination. But yoga’s popularity keeps growing regardless.

Yoga was first introduced to America by Swami Vivekananda, who came to America in 1893 to address the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought Transcendental Meditation (TM), offering tangible yoga that became “the most widely practiced self-development programme in the US” during 1960’s and 1970’s.

In a new book, “The Goddess Pose,” Michelle Goldberg attributes the rise of yoga in America to Russian Bollywood actress Indra Devi, whom he calls the “first lady of yoga.”

Born Eugenia Vassilievna in 1899, Devi died in 2002, just weeks shy of her 103rd birthday. “For much of her life,” Goldberg writes, “Devi’s only goal had been to make yoga known to the West.”

Huffington Post in a January 2014 article, traces the growth of yoga into a $27 billion industry to Sat Jivan Singh Khalsa, “a lawyer moonlighting as a Kundalini yoga teacher,” who moved to New York to open a yoga studio in 1971.

It was a time, as Khalsa told the Post, when “people confused yoga and yogurt. They were both brand new and nobody knew what either of them were.”

At that time there were only a couple of yoga studios in the Big Apple. Today dozens of yoga variations can be found within a 1-mile radius of his studio in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, from Equinox power yoga to yogalates (yoga+pilate) to “zen bootcamp.”

As Khalsa told the Post, “The love of yoga is out there and the time is right for yoga.”

And Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has seized that moment to bring yoga to the world. (IANS)

Next Story

Largest Yoga Event: Netherlands Hosts Third International Day of Yoga

With the Indian tradition of Yoga expanding to other parts of the world, countries are hosting Yoga events quite regularly

0
86
Largest Yoga Event
Thousands participate in largest yoga event held in Netherlands. Twitter

Netherlands, June 20, 2017: The largest ever yoga event in the Netherlands was held here with the participation of nearly 1,000 people on Sunday to mark the Third International Day of Yoga.

The event was organized by the Indian Embassy with the support of The Hague City Council in the Atrium of the City Hall, an iconic building, often referred to as the Ice Palace.

Welcoming the gathering, Venu Rajamony, India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, described yoga as India’s gift to mankind.

He also told the gathering about the upcoming visit to the Netherlands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took the initiative to celebrate the International Day of Yoga three years ago.

The event’s chief guest, Rabin Baldewsingh, Deputy Mayor of The Hague, spoke of the vibrant connection between India and the Netherlands. He sought the Ambassador’s leadership in linking the Indian and the Surinami-Hindustani communities in the Netherlands.

Participants in the group yoga session included cricketer Suresh Raina, Joris Geeven from the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, Miss India Holland 2017 Preety Dhillon, Dutch nationals and members of the Suriname-Hindustani as well as Indian communities.

The event was organized in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, India Tourism Amsterdam, Art of Living Foundation, ISHA Foundation, and Jet Airways.

The event was led by Amit Khanna, a yoga expert at The Gandhi Centre in The Hague, which is the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy, Shikha Khanna, a yoga expert from the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi, Madeleine Gaastra from the Art of Living and Farooq Abdul Khader, a local yoga teacher. (IANS)

ALSO READ: Every Country in the World to participate in the International Yoga Day event 2017: Minister

Next Story

WHO researching to integrate yoga with universal health care for healthier world

0
155

New Delhi: Thousands of participants performs Yoga during a full dress rehearsal for the International Yoga Day at Rajpath in New Delhi on June 19, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

United Nations: The World Health Organization is researching how to integrate yoga with universal health care needs, according to Nata Menabde, the agency’s executive director at the UN office.

It was a struggle to standardise yoga for use around the world as part of health care systems because of its many different schools of practice, but WHO was working with centres in India and elsewhere to find ways to do this, she told reporters at a briefing here on Sunday’s International Day of Yoga.

Calling yoga the “ancient Vedic gift to the world”, she stressed its ability to bring together body, soul and mind for a holistic approach to health.

Yoga is an ideal medium to deal with lifestyle disorders, she said, citing as an example studies in applying it to deal with cardiovascular diseases in Russia that WHO has seen.

It can also help in coping with stress and treating mental disorders by helping people develop “inner resilience”, Menabde said.

In Goa, yoga was being combined with other therapies to treat mental illness and it was showing results, she said.

She said she saw a growing role for yoga as the world’s proportion of ageing population increases. Ageing becomes healthier because of the ease of practice and the impact on both body and mind.

It has also been shown to help with arthritis and various other illnesses.

India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji said that the International Day of Yoga celebrations on Sunday would connect the UN with the world outside by linking the observances inside headquarter’s open plaza with the mass yoga performances at New York’s Times Square and around the world.

Every year a yoga event is organised at the Times Square on the summer solstice day by the city’s yoga community and the Times Square Alliance. This year it will be a part of the International Day of Yoga and is expected to draw 30,000 people, he said.

The celebrations in 256 cities across 192 cities would touch two billion people, Mukerji. They would take place in even strife-torn places like Syria and the Central African Republic and the only country not able to participate would be Yemen, he said.

Mukerji said yoga assumed a special meaning this year because of the focus on climate change and the international conference in Paris in December.

The General Assembly’s resolution creating yoga day, he said, spoke of its role in “building better individual lifestyles devoid of excesses of all kinds”.

Yoga’s relevance to preserving the environment and combating climate change, Menabde said, is in helping to reflect on what is important and realise the minimalist needs.

This leads one to “be less destructive to the world and to the people around you”, she said.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to give the keynote address at the yoga day UN celebrations.

Asked if Ban would participate in the yoga demonstration, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said he may participate in some fashion.

In his message about the celebrations, Ban said that he had tried the Vrksasana — the tree pose — and “appreciated the simple sense of satisfaction that yoga can bring”. (IANS)

Next Story

New York city tables resolution to recognise June 21st as Yoga Day

0
107

meditation

By NewsGram Staff Writer

A resolution to recognise June 21st as ‘World Yoga Day’ has been tabled in the New York City in line with the United Nations’ decision to commemorate the day internationally.

Council member for the 19th district, Paul Vallone tabled the resolution on Tuesday, calling on the city to commemorate June 21 as ‘World Yoga Day’.

The resolution, that is yet to be voted upon, notes that the UN had last year declared June 21 to be commemorated each year as the ‘International Day of Yoga’.

A ‘Yogathon’ website focusing on the movement of Yoga in the US has also been launched by Indian Consul General Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay.

Started by the Overseas Volunteers of Better India(OVBI), the website aims to serve as a one-stop portal that will provide information and details about various yoga events planned in over 100 US cities on June 21.

Mulay said that several events will be held across the US in the run-up to June 21, aimed at spreading awareness about yoga and to “celebrate yoga as a world heritage.

According to the Ambassador, yoga should not be seen with a religious perspective.

“We have been celebrating yoga for 5000 years and it has evolved as a holistic life mechanism and not just a lifestyle,” he said.

“It is an ancient Indian practice that provides solutions in current times of anger, stress and disputes.  The City Council resolution is a recognition of yoga as well of India’s heritage”, he further elaborated.

Last year, after the UN General Assembly adopted an India-led resolution co-sponsored by a record 175 countries, June 21st was declared as the ‘International Day of Yoga’

Less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea at the UN, the UNGA passed the resolution saying that “yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.”

“The UN declared June 21 of each year as international yoga day; now therefore, be it resolved that the Council of the City of New York recognises and commemorates June 21 as World Yoga Day in the City of New York,” the City Council resolution reads.

The resolution referred to a number of studies to back-up the recognition of Yoga:

  • A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that showed that yoga produced significant changes in body weight, diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate.
  • The recognition of Yoga by the US Centre for Disease and Control as a “great activity for everyone.”
  • A 2012 study which claimed that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga
  • The listing of New York by  Forbes magazine as one of the top 10 cities in the US for yoga.

This year will mark the first commemoration of International Day of Yoga by the UN.