The Causes and Effects of Yoga On Today’s Society

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Recently in the past couple of years beginning in 2012 according to researchers, an increase in practicing yoga and meditation in not only adults but in children as well has increased. More kids are beginning to learn about yoga, and for them it’s beginning to become a new form of exercise and more schools are beginning to open it up to them as well. Many more yoga studios are beginning to open up and the new clothing trend is seeming to be active yoga wear.

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For example let’s take a well known yoga brand Lululemon, in recent years statistics have shown their sales have skyrocketed not to mention other well known active wear such as Nike and many more brands that sell yoga attire. Also in many recent commercials that have dealt with anything fitness related you may have come across yoga as a scene in the background, or somehow to whatever is being advertised on tv. Yoga is a type of exercise used to release energy in a peaceful way, but recently over these few years the number of people practicing this technique has increased due to the many benefits it offers such as improving cardiovascular health, sleep cycles and much more, which most likely has been the reason for so many studios to start opening up and for active wear sales to increase.

According to an article written about yoga it stated, The 2012 study indicates that 8.7 percent of U.S. adults, or 20.4 million people, practice yoga. Of current non-practitioners, 44.4 percent of Americans call themselves aspirational yogis. (YJ editors) Recently more yoga studios are beginning to open up and more gyms are starting to add studios within their area for classes they offer as well. As I mentioned before fitness seems to be the trend in today’s society and since more people have been at the gyms lately, they may see others practicing yoga which may cause them to want to try it out. This also relates to what I talked about in my introduction about the clothing trend. More yoga attire is beginning to sell a lot faster because people are seeming to, either do yoga on a daily basis or they are just purchasing the clothes because it’s what everyone is wearing these days. Not to mention this is doing very well for many of the sportswear companies such as Nike, Under Armour, LuLuLemon because all of there sales have began to increase drastically. According to an article from Forbes, The sport leisure style has become the largest category in the U.S. sneaker space, beating performance-oriented footwear, according to a study released this week by market research firm NPD Group. In sharp contrast, while demand for sport leisure styles surged 17% last year to $9.6 billion in sales, sales of performance apparel tumbled 10% to $7.4 billion, NPD said, adding the performance categories decline has accelerated the last two years. (Cheng)

Practicing yoga techniques has shown to improve cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure, and increasing blood flow throughout the body especially to the heart. Yoga, like I explained earlier is a way for the body to let out energy in a way that’s not so vigorous. You’re probably wondering, how yoga can improve your cardiovascular health? Well it turns out it actually is better than the normal cardio workouts many people do such as running, treadmills, and many more hardcore workouts. Reducing stress is a way to keep your heart healthy. Dr. Carrie Demers who is an integrative medicine physician said in an interview, I think stress reduction is a big piece of reducing cardiovascular disease risk. (Demers) Although doing the usual cardio workouts alo helps it only has shown to help strengthen the heart or to make it stronger. Yoga is now proven to improve people’s blood pressure and surprisingly has led to weight loss as well. When you’re chronically stressed, your blood pressure goes up. Your cholesterol goes up because of the increase in cortisol. If we simply breathe, stretch, and relax- that is do yoga- we decrease our risk of heart disease. (Dr. Demer) Although all of this is true it doesn’t mean we should just forget about the normal cardio workouts and focus only on yoga. It is still important to go on a walk or run every now and then just to keep the heart strong. Taking a deep breath once in awhile is a way of practicing yoga because your allowing for the oxygen to flow sufficiently. Though more research is needed when it comes to answering the why, how, and What kind of yoga? questions, these initial findings are promising. (Heagberg)

Another great benefit of yoga is that it has been proven to help with sleep and in some cases insomnia.You may not actually realize it, but sleep is the most important thing for the human body it’s a time for everything to be at rest. Although not every night is going to be a good night’s rest, we often encounter sleep deprivation and disturbances throughout the night which is totally normal. On the other hand though too many disturbances or creating a pattern of sleep deprivation is not good for the body. A mere week of unrest or sleep deprivation can cause severe changes in mood: depression, decreases in emotional regulation, and obvious depletion. It seems that a good night’s rest can also enhance the positive feelings and states of being that we cultivate through yoga practice. There’s really something to the idea of “sleeping off” difficult experiences. (LoRusso) By practicing yoga in a mediation way it allows your mind to come to peaceful state of mind. For example, simply sitting down in a quiet area and taking deep breaths and allowing your mind to come to an ease is a form of meditation yoga, which will allow for our minds to be calm at night when sleeping. If you’re not up for practicing a full routine of yoga poses, you can also try practising mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation involves learning to accept your thoughts, emotions, and feelings and relies on you to develop an awareness of the sensations you’re experiencing in the present, which can be hugely relaxing. Whilst mindfulness is great for unwinding your mind, it doesn’t tire out your body. Combining both physical fatigue and mental relaxation is one of the main reasons yoga improves sleep. (Sonno)

From what I have researched along the way I have come to a conclusion that the number of people practicing yoga is increasing rapidly due to not only the facts that yoga offers a wide range of health benefits but, also because many people like to do what others do. For example, what I mean by follow was that whatever the trend or current obsession is at the moment people like to do or have whatever that certain thing is. In this case the trend would be practicing yoga.

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