11 Fun Facts About Yoga

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Nurturing Your Practice

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A woman with black hair in a bun does a variation of crow pose with one leg extended as she balances on a rock with the ocean in the background.

So your magical vibe has finally attracted your tribe. You’ve found your flow and favorite yoga family, so the next time you gather, share a smoothie, cold pressed juice or meet up for a fun filled pot luck meal, why not share these 11 fun yoga facts amongst you all to keep the vibe going strong.

Many practitioners enjoy the asana practice but don’t know much about history and culture. Understanding the history and culture surrounding yoga is important. Yogic history is an important part of the practice. It helps to create context around the practice. If we practice something without having any context, then we’re practicing it in isolation of its roots, its foundation.

  1. Krishnamacharya and B.K.S. Iyengar are related by marriage. Krishnamacharya married one of Iyengar’s older sisters, Namagiriyamma in 1926 when Iyengar was just a child. (citation) This little know fact about Krishnamacharya and Iyengar is discussed in the documentary Breath of the Gods. Everyone has opinions about documentaries about famous teachers, but they serve a valuable purpose. Breath of the Gods helps paint a more well-rounded picture of post-colonial yoga and explains the dynamic between these legendary teachers and their students. Movies and books with first-hand accounts like these are primary sources and help maintain yoga’s integrity.
  2. The Indian Postal Service released a special stamp for yoga on June 21, 2015, to commemorate International Yoga Day, featuring a seated Yogi with the Anjali Mudra overhead. Many people think Indian nationals do yoga, but that is not always the case. The commemorative stamp is a sentiment to the resurgence of commitment we are seeing to yoga in India.
  3. Hasyayoga or Laughter Yoga is practiced in more than 60 countries. (citation) There is science behind laughter yoga. The more we laugh, the more our bodies produce endorphins and neurotransmitters that make us feel uplifted. Laughter yoga helps to increase these chemicals and support a healthy balance between non-attachment and humor.
  4. It just so happens that the closing song, ”Long Time Sun,” used in Kundalini practices, is a blessing credited to a Scottish folk band (The Incredible String Band) from the 1960s that toured through Woodstock. Now used for over 50 years! (Source 3HOHistory.com). Around that same time, Yogi Bhajan introduced the kundalini yoga practice to the west. A group of kundalini yogis had formed a group – the Khalsa String Band – and, as Gurudass Singh of Virginia wrote in an Aquarian Times Winter ‘05 issue: “One day as he (Yogi Bhajan) entered the room, a group of yoga students including Guru Singh was playing a round of a piece by the Incredible String Band. Yogi Bhajan asked them to keep playing it, and then requested them to play it after his classes. It quickly became a tradition that continues today.
  5. Last December, 52,746 teachers, and over 18,000 yoga schools were registered with Yoga Alliance. (Source for 5-9 Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance survey 2016). As of April 2020, over 7,000 Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) and more than 100,000 Registered Yoga Teachers have joined these figures (RYT) last updated on June 29, 2020. It’s a little-known fact that Yoga Alliance is a registry. Many students and teachers believe they are a credentialing body, but they are not. Each school registered with Yoga Alliance is responsible for certifying its students. Schools that are registered with Yoga Alliance are licensing the registered logos to use as marketing materials, similar to how sports teams license their IP for apparel and cups. Schools must abide by code
  6. The top 3 factors yoga practitioners seek in a yoga studio are cost, convenience, and quality of instruction. That is why we try to make our offerings affordable, authentic, and accessible.
  7. Only 8% of yoga practitioners have attended a yoga retreat, 62% are interested in attending one in the future. Many people think a yoga retreat is supposed to be relaxing, but did you know that they are often anything BUT relaxing? Yoga retreats are about turning your attention inward, not about luxury, so if you want a spa vacation, book what you want–not a yoga retreat.
  8. There are two more yoga teachers currently in training for every existing yoga teacher out there! No, the market isn’t flooded. We need YOU! And we do need to start advocating for ourselves in various settings so that we aren’t just teaching in studios. Maybe one day, there will be a yoga teacher in every corporate and wellness office nationally.
  9. The top 5 equipment brands used by yoga studios are Gaiam, Manduka, Hugger Mugger, Jade Yoga, and lululemon. Alo is making STRONG strides forward. We’ll see what the face of yoga looks like in five to ten years.
  10. Lenovo has a tablet named Yoga. If that is commercialization at its strangest who knows what is?
  11. The first known appearance of the word “yoga”, with the same meaning as the modern term, is in the Katha Upanishad, composed about the fourth to third century BCE. Remember, primary sources are EVERYTHING! Don’t forget to go back to them and reference them frequently. It will help you to understand and integrate the concepts more clearly.

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