It is easy to see why yoga might be perceived as a fad. In recent years, its popularity in the West has surged with everyone from athletes to corporate types to celebrities catching the yoga bug. There’s a growing yoga industry that’s developed around this popularity. According to the Yoga Alliance, people are predicted to spend $4.6 billion on yoga clothes in 2016, up from $2.2 billion in 2012.
Although it may seem like a relatively new concept to us in the West, the roots of yoga can be traced back at least 5,000 years. In fact, some researchers think its origins may be more like 10,000 years old. If yoga is a trend or fad, it’s an impressively resilient one. (Learn more in The History of Hatha Yoga.)
That said, it is still possible that yoga in the West is being buoyed by its novelty and clever marketing. So, could the buzz and excitement around yoga burn out?
If you look at the reasons why people practice yoga, it seems unlikely. Two of the top three reasons why people practice yoga are for stress relief and its impact on their general health. Given our increasingly hectic modern lifestyles, the desire to de-stress and be healthy are probably going to stay high on our list of priorities. Even better, the third reason people practice yoga is simply because they enjoy it. Regardless of whether yoga is a trend or not, if you enjoy something and it makes you feel good, chances are you’ll keep doing it. (Learn What is a Yoga High?)
As more and more people discover yoga, it adapts and evolves. Each new yoga teacher brings their own slightly different approach to it, so there will always be something fresh and different to try. Hot yoga, Yogilates, Laughter yoga, Dance yoga and AntiGravity® yoga, to name a few. Within yoga, trends will rise. Some of these will last, some of them might not, but the broader practice of yoga will continue to inspire and grow. So fear not - it’s a safe bet that yoga itself is here to stay. (Learn more about yoga in The 8 Limbs of Yoga.)