When I started learning yoga in the early ’70’s, there were classes, books and television yoga, but very little else. There was no Lululemon for designer threads, no on-line teacher training and teleconferencing, no yoga expos, no kids’ yoga, no sticky mats, and yoga was definitely not a household word.
We hear so often these days it’s become ho-hum, that yoga is mainstream. Footy players do it, war veterans do it, opera singers do it, corporate executives do it, and plenty of regular folks too.
What’s interesting to me, more than the burgeoning numbers, is how many spin-off industries have occurred based the enthusiastic embracing of this ancient discipline. The fact that we say yoga is an industry is telling enough. Now there are p.r. experts who specialize in the promoting the yoga and well-being sectors. There are the web based businesses selling every yoga-related product you can imagine. You can attend workshops themed on yoga subjects anatomical, acrobatical, or anthroposophical. You can “retreat” in a luxury Balinese villa or a teepee at Feather Pipe Ranch in Montana.
As I head off tomorrow morning to teach a workshop on the Gold Coast, I’m reminded that what matters for me regarding yoga is my personal practice. All you really need is commitment, faith and love for yoga. Oh, and a sticky mat is very handy.


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