Do You Yoga?
It doesn’t matter if you are doing it for exercise, health reasons, doing it to hang out with friends or improve your flexibility, heck we don’t even care if you are doing it just as an excuse to wear those amazingly comfy yoga pants (those things are the best!). Whatever your reasons may be, one thing is for sure, yoga is awesome! Yoga has soared in popularity in the last 10-15 years and it is estimated that there are over 36 million people in the US alone who practice yoga. We love it so much that we have even doled out a nickname to people who do yoga, they are known as “Yogis” (pronounced "yo-gee-s" like Yogi Bear). Yoga has not only earned cute nicknames for its participants, but it has also earned its own international day. That’s right, each year on the 21st of June yogis from all over the world crowd parks and other public areas and strike a pose, literally!
Yoga has evolved and changed throughout history. Some die-hard yogis stick very close to yoga’s origins and try to keep it as close to the founding principles as possible, but then there are others. The closer yoga crept to the western world, the more it evolved. If you take a walk through the streets of Los Angeles, New York or Seattle, chances are good you will pass more than one yoga studio. Many non-traditional yoga studios have popped up all around the country. These non-traditional yoga classes incorporate other aspects of life into the rich foundation of yoga. Looking to spend more quality time with your pet? Not a problem. There are classes that will allow you to bring your cat, dog, Guinea pig or snake even. Pet yoga incorporates your pet into the poses as a prop. Need a good laugh? Laughing yoga is designed with one thing in mind, laughter heals! Laughter yoga is popular among the elderly and those with are suffering an illness such as cancer. The act of laughing is said to improve mood and can aid in the healing process. There is a yoga for everyone. Aerial yoga combines traditional yoga with aerial acrobatics performed using silk “ropes” that hang from the ceiling. Is aerial yoga not out there enough for you? How about Tantrum yoga? Yes, that is right, you go into this class and throw a fit! This type of yoga encourages you to scream your way to better health.
They are not all weird though. Pre-natal and Mommy and Me yoga classes are among the most popular non-traditional yoga classes. These classes embrace both pregnancy and motherhood. Both classes are aimed at mothers staying fit and connecting to their bodies and babies both pre and post-partum. Paddleboard yoga is another one that is more common. These classes practice more traditional yoga just in a modern setting. Paddleboard yoga calls for participants to paddle out into the water on the extra-long boards and practice their poses without falling in. Practicing yoga on the paddleboard adds an additional level of balance and concentration not seen in traditional class settings.
With its soaring popularity, yoga has become a thriving business opportunity for many. It is estimated in 2013 that yoga was a $27 billion-dollar industry! From the yoga mats to the blocks, the clothing, resistance bands, towels, tote bags, essential oils. The list goes on and on. With every fresh style of yoga that pops up, as does a new accessory to go along with it. Perfect Imprints has a wide selection of not only yoga mats, but resistance bands, essential oils and most other yoga-related items, all of which can be custom imprinted with your studio name or personalized message.
If you are still questioning rather yoga is right for you, we haven’t even talked about the best part! Aside from having what I will say is the most comfortable fitness wardrobe of all time, yoga has amazing health benefits. Practicing yoga is not only a great form of exercise but it will also increase flexibility, improve muscle strength and tone, improve respiration, decrease stress levels, sharpen concentration and attention, create mental clarity, improve digestion and circulation and aids in creating better overall body awareness which can help with early detection of physical problems and allow for preventative action early on. Yoga is not just about improving your outer appearance, although this is a side effect of practicing it regularly, it is about being in-tuned with your mind, body and spirit. Many beginners are told that the goal of yoga is to explore their personal limits. If you are focused on making your Astavakrasana or eight-angle pose better than Betty-Sue who comes to class half as much as you but still seems to look like she is pulled from a how-to book on yoga poses, you are missing the point completely. Yoga is about being your personal best.