What Makes a Yoga Class Yoga & Not Just a Trend?

Everywhere I go it seems there are new yoga fads popping up.

I want to know what makes a yoga class yoga and not just a trend.

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are eight “limbs” of yoga. Some people are more aware of these limbs than others, however there is only one limb that addresses the physical postures known as Asana.

Yoga is on the rise and has been for a while in Western Civilization. I attend many different yoga classes, often everything from Hot Yoga to Vinyasa to Ashtanga, and the list goes on, but the more I look around the newer and more innovative classes I see, so I ask myself, how is that yoga?

Is it yoga because of the music that they are playing or the yoga pants they are sporting? They are definitely attacking one of the eight limbs but for what reason? Are modern yogis just trying to show off a new act? Can they even call themselves yogis?

I am going to be optimistic and not only leave each practice up to the individual but I’m also going to give each teacher a lot of credit. If the teacher and the student both bring the essence and intention of yoga, which is uniting their mind, body and spirit, to the asana class, along with having a general knowledge of the eight limbs—fantastic that’s a yoga class. However if the class is solely circus tricks or a cardio class with no intention—no I don’t think yoga is what is happening in that specific class.

What do we do now?

The answer is this: remember what yoga is and if you don’t know find out. There are so many teachers that want to share the serenity that is yoga. I’m not saying that if you want to learn a new trick or do some cardio you have no place in a yoga class that’s not true at all.  Everyone comes to a yoga class for a reason whether they know it or not and each individual owes it to themselves to look within and find there organic truth.

Ask yourself: why you are here and what does yoga mean to you?


About the Author

West coast native turned southern sweet heart, Nicole Larossi has been practicing yoga since 2002. She found yoga when she was pregnant with her first child and has loved it every day since. Several years later after moving to the south she decided to follow true path, and take her yoga practice to the next level by becoming a teacher. Nicole is passionate about healthy living, yoga and uniting her community and thrives to inspire other to do the same, recently taking on the position at Where Is My Guru as Special Projects Coordinator. You can find Nicole on Facebook, Twitter and the web.


Tagged under: Yoga Practice