American Spirituality: The Spirit Of Yoga
Sat Jivan Singh Khalsa, in 1971, moved to New York and opened his own yoga studio. The Kundalini yoga teacher formally a lawyer set up his shop in Brooklyn’s Boerum. He opened a school to share his wisdom and teachings of Yogi Bhajan, a spiritual leader. During this time there were only another 2 yoga studios within the city.
40 years since his school opened, Khalsa has seen the evolution of Yoga in America transform from a small time activity to a part of the cultural mainstream. There are many Yoga variations found around his Manhattan’s Flatiron District studio including yogalates to power yoga.
Right across America professional businessmen, students, Retirees, and CEOs are just some of the people who have embraced yoga. It has now become a $27 billion dollar industry with over 20 million practitioners’ right across the world practicing – 83% of those practitioners are women.
Today yoga’s journey has transformed from first being an ancient spiritual practise to now a large business enterprise and a premium lifestyle. Today there are many different items that can be purchased to conduct yoga from designer yogawear, towels, mats, and luxury retreats. Because of this, there are many devotees which worry that there is something that has been lost in the spiritual side along the way. Others on the other hand are more optimistic about yogas evolution in the USA.
The physical practice of asana or postures is one of the 8 traditional limbs of yoga. These limbs or postures are said to present an eightfold path to enlightenment. This enlightenment includes meditation, turning inward, mindful breathing and concentration.
Yoga’s appeal can be traced back to over 5000 years. It’s a tradition which has lasted the test of time. Yoga in itself has one traditional aim which is stilling the minds thoughts to experience your true self and in turn the circle of life and death or what any call enlightenment.