There’s no doubt about it: Yoga is huge in the U.S., and it’s only getting bigger — 24 million American adults practiced in 2013, up from 17 million in 2008.
So it’s no surprise that asana (the movement part of yoga) and meditation are becoming big business. But as yoga becomes commercialized and corporatized, how much of what we practice — at independent studios, gym chains, and corporate retreats — can really be considered yoga, in its truest sense, especially considering its ancient ties to Hinduism? After all, it seems unlikely that new studios popping up nationwide — teaching everything from pole-dancing yoga to disco yoga to fantasy costume yoga — are helping connect practitioners with any form of higher truth.
Take the meditation aspect of yoga, for instance. The Washington Post recently called attention to the Meditation Museum in Silver Spring, Md., which aims to remind visitors of the connection between meditation and a higher being — particularly as meditation becomes increasingly mainstream. The article states:
Hindu and Buddhist leaders in particular have raised concerns that meditation may be going the route yoga has in the West, where it has largely morphed from being a tool for enlightenment to one for a firmer tush. Continue reading >>