Hello there, it’s been awhile since I have reached out. I am grateful for the opportunity to periodically connect with you, sharing some “yoga news and observations”.
As you have likely noticed, the practice of Yoga–in its many forms and “flavors”– has really seen explosive growth in the US in the past few years. The enclosed article summarizes its benefits very well. But I am sharing this article with you for one particular special reason.
I agree with this author that there is an opportunity for yoga to reach those who have yet to appreciate and value it in their own lives.
I love being a yoga “ambassador”. It’s easy. You can be one too! By simply mentioning your own experience to a friend, family member or co-worker, your heartfelt comments may plant the seed for them to check out yoga for themselves.
In addition, there are some superior organizations out there bringing yoga to whole new groups of people who may have never considered the benefits. Inner city youth, turning veterans, prisoners, and youth detention centers to name a few.
Two organizations I know personally doing great work are Prison Yoga Project, @prisonyoga.org. And Lemonade-A Yoga Program (yoga for youth in detention). @Lemonaidsf.org
Take a moment. Take a chance and share your experience. Or support organizations bringing mindfulness and yoga to deserving individuals.
Perhaps by sharing your personal experience you will deepen your commitment to your own yoga journey.
With deep gratitude, Erin
“Be the change you want to see in the world”-Mahatma Gandhi
(photo taken in January 2016, at a memorial garden in the Santa Cruz Mountains at Land of Medicine Buddha Retreat Center)
POSTED MARCH 07, 2016, 9:00 AM
Follow me @newyorkpsych
More than a third of Americans say they are very likely to try yoga in the next year. While the majority of yoga practitioners are women (70%), the number of American men doing yoga has more than doubled, going from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016. The number of American adults over 50 doing yoga has tripled over the last four years to reach 14 million.
A look at the benefits all these new yogis can enjoy
Three out of four Americans believe that “yoga is good for you,” and medical science backs them up: Yoga has been shown to improve health. Several studies have found that yoga can help improve cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, balance, and overall quality of life — and it can even reduce stress, anxiety, and pain. In addition, people who do yoga are 20% more likely to have a positive image of their own physical and mental health, including a stronger sense of mental clarity, physical fitness, flexibility, and strength.
One of the survey’s most interesting results reveals the most common reason people don’t try yoga. Often, people see yoga as exclusive — designed primarily for young women or for those who are already flexible, athletic, or spiritual. This finding can hopefully inspire the yoga community to work on making yoga more accessible and inclusive, regardless of a person’s gender, age, current level of flexibility or fitness, or relationship with spirituality.
The fundamental philosophy of yoga encourages being non-judgmental and compassionate to others and ourselves. Yoga is not about perfection or performing a beautiful pose to show other people on Instagram. It’s not a competition of flexibility, nor is it about comparing yourself to the person next to you in yoga class or achieving a challenging pose found on the cover of Yoga Journal.
As yoga continues to become more popular in the U.S., we must not lose the true spirit of yoga as one of compassion, awareness, and acceptance. With this message of inclusivity, yoga and its benefits can become more accessible.