All Roads Lead To Om: What is “real” yoga?
The media has the potential to make a huge impact on many things in today’s society, and yoga is no different in that regard. It’s pretty accurate to say yoga has taken this country by storm, however yoga has been around for many centuries. Research studies about the benefits of the physical and mental aspects of yoga have been finding their way into mainstream culture at a growing rate. A 2016 study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance highlighted the following information about yoga in America.
• There are 36.7 million U.S. yoga practitioners, up from 20.4 million in 2012
• Practitioners are significantly more involved in many other forms of exercise such as running, cycling and weightlifting, than non-practitioners
• 74 percent of American practitioners have been doing yoga for five or fewer years
• The top five reasons for starting yoga are: flexibility (61 percent); stress relief (56 percent); general fitness (49 percent); improve overall health (49 percent) and physical fitness (44 percent)
• 86 percent of practitioners self-report having a strong sense of mental clarity, 73 percent report being physically strong and 79 percent give back to their communities – all significantly higher rates than non-practitioners
• Women represent 72 percent of practitioners, compared to 28 percent of men
• 34 percent of Americans say they are somewhat or very likely to practice yoga in the next 12 months
• 80 million more Americans will likely try yoga for the first time in 2016
• Students spend $16 billion per year on classes, gear and equipment, up from $10 billion in 2012
(Stats from 2016 Yoga in America Study)
Based on research and data collected, yoga is on the rise, but has the media done a service or a disservice to the spiritual aspects of this practice? We sat down with Houston based Nosie Yogi, aka Nosa & Susie Edebor, to find out their take on this topic.
SOVI FIT: NosieYogi recently received a lot of attention for your wildly popular Beyonce inspired yoga class “Bey-Asana”. Most of the feedback was fantastic however, some people claim that “its not real yoga”. What are your thoughts on this?
NOSIE YOGI: Bey-Asana has been such a fun event for us to plan and create. It started as an idea to raise money for Nosa’s 200 hour yoga teacher training. In the two years since its inception, it has grown into something incredible. The topic of “real yoga” has been something we are aware of and love the discussion it is generating. We have been blessed with the opportunity to travel and teach yoga and AcroYoga around the world to many different people from different backgrounds and communities. Hearing different stories and how people connect with their practice.
Bey-Asana is such a special event to us because it creates an intersectionality of people that you don’t find in many places. People of all races, body types, orientation and backgrounds feeling not only included, but unified and empowered. We feel that yoga does not belong to one socio-economic demographic, it should be accessible to any and all people. On the surface, Bey-Asana is a Beyonce inspired yoga class, but underneath that, you have people who have never done yoga before finding the practice because they really love this artist and it appeals to them. Many of those students may be intimidated or too self conscience to go to a “westernized traditional” yoga class, but will come sweat, sing, dance and find a connection to their practice through this class.
So this is the REAL part of yoga for us. Losing oneself, killing your ego and just enjoying your time on your mat surrounded by positive energy and welcoming people.
ABOUT NOSIE YOGI: Nosa and Susie Edebor of Nosie Yogi are both certified yoga and Level 2 AcroYoga teachers. Based out of Houston, Texas, Nosie Yogi is known both locally and internationally, teaching ongoing weekly classes around Houston and leading workshops around the world.
UPCOMING CLASSES & EVENTS:
- MAY 27-30, 2017 DENTON ELEMENTAL ACROYOGA IMMERSION DENTON, TEXAS
- JUNE 2, 2017 7:30-8:30 PM NAMAS-DRAKE: A DRAKE INSPIRED YOGA CLASS
- JUNE 10, 2017 12:00-2:00 PM HANDSTANDS: FORM & FUNCTION
- JULY 7, 2017 7:30-8:30 PM BEY-ASANA: LEMONADE REMIX
CONTACT NOSIE YOGI:
Follow @nosieyogi on Instagram