A 2008 study indicates that 6.9% of U.S. adults, or 15.8 million people, practice yoga. In Canada, a 2005 study shows that 5.5% or 1.4 million people now practice yoga. The stats don't surprise me, and of course as a dedicated yogini I'm shocked that the number isn't higher. I mean, who wouldn't want to dedicate their entire life to practicing yoga poses?!?!
But my question concerns the justification for and impact of such popularity. Is the Western obsession with sex selling and physicality using the practice as just another means to look good? Or are people actually interested in "God," "Enlightenment," "Awakening"?
Is the great rise of Yoga in the West the first step toward its own demise? Or are we happy to see the masses in classes, regardless of intention? Are 30-day teacher training courses an entryway into some greater depth in teaching, or are they a dangerous representation of our "quick fix," "instant gratification" mindset?