Yoga has often been called the first and the most effective results of the increasing globalization.
Scholars say that the real purpose of Yoga was spiritual liberation, which is being lost in the weight losing fad it has generated.
According to research, Yoga can significantly improve occupational and social functioning in schizophrenic patients. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease and treats diabetes, asthma and blood pressure.
A New York University research found that Yoga was helpful in reducing psychological and physical symptoms of pain in women suffering from Fibromyalgia.
It is in sync with all religions: The very first translation of the Patanjali yoga sutra was in Arabic and none other than the notorious Mahmud of Ghazni commissioned it. Translated in Arabic by the renowned scholar Al-Beruni, it's called 'Kitab Patanjal'. It's interesting to note that the work is called book of Patanjali and no credit is robbed from the original writer. There is no bigger endorsement than this that yoga is truly in sync with every religion. The sufi arm of Islam is considered to be influenced by Al-Beruni's work.
It is a gender neutral discipline: The beauty of it is that the teaching is the same no matter what the dominant gender of the class. It involves the same routine developed over years of intense practice, observation, and contemplation. There is equal opportunity, equal effort and equal joy to be achieved at the end of the class. It doesn't discriminate on the grounds of anything - class, age, community, gender or nationality. You practise, you get it. You don't, you wont.
Henry David Thoreau was one of the first known Western yoga practitioners. His interest may have been sparked by his friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1849, in a letter to a friend, Thoreau referred to himself as a “yogi.”
In 1919, Pierre Bernard opened one of the first yoga studios in the US which was called The Yoga Center and located on 53rd Street in Manhattan. Bernard was also the uncle of Theos Bernard whose 1947 book Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience was considered one of the major reference books for yoga in the 1950s.
In addition to being a student of the legendary yoga teacher, Sri Krishnamacharya, B. K. S. Iyengar was also the former’s brother-in-law.
The world’s largest yoga class took place on November 19, 2005 at Jiwaji University in Gwalior, India. It lasted for 18 minutes and involved 29,973 participants. In February 2014, Detroit tried to set a new indoor yoga record. This record will be broken on 21st June, 2015.
A study by Sports Marketing Survey found that Americans spent about $10.7 billion on yoga classes and yoga gear in 2012.