With recent developments (like International Day of Yoga by UN) the spotlight is on the field of yoga.
Overall, yoga has managed to survive and thrive for many decades now. This is mainly due to devout practitioners, who devote their life to their practice.
What it was lacking was proper research into the field, common standards about teaching yoga (mainly asana and pranayama) as profession. Hopefully, in coming years that will change.
As with any other field, which goes through large level changes and growth:
This is both good and bad.
The good part is that this will increase awareness about a gentle, relaxed approach for health and mental well being.
Slowly a structure will develop, which will help to streamline the general health based approach of yoga.
The reason is simple.
Yoga as way of life is something that evolved with observations of spiritual seekers, who did not have time to follow any other physical endeavor for health.
Out of eight (8) limbs of yoga, each step acts as foundation of next step:
- Yama: Social rules
- Niyama: Personal rules
- Asana: Physical body approach
- Pranayama: Prana based approach
- Pratyahara: Senses based approach
- Dharna: Dealing with distractions of mind
- Dhayana: Meditation
- Samadhi:Connection with the divine
To read about these steps in detail you can visit this link.
Now, as you see asana and pranayama (two most popular limbs of yoga) are actually 3rd and 4th in limbs of yoga.
Thus, classic texts had explanation about asana, in a way, which made it suitable for further development.
Whereas, the current focus on yoga is about the asana and pranayama mainly.
Which means, they need to be properly understood and supplemented with additional knowledge about human body and anatomy to serve its current purpose.
This is where the good part is going to come into picture.
As yoga is gaining its popularity, this will also attract detractors to fore.
Their criticism will require research backed development of knowledge base.
Which means, few things, which developed due to incomplete understanding will need to go. And fundamentally strong basis of understanding will develop.
Second part where it is going to be good is development of yoga teaching as proper profession. This means, yoga teacher’s standards, validation and continuing education.
Though, as with everything else, there are few not so good factors of current scenario:
Not so good parts
As with any field, when it gains popularity, it attracts non serious professionals into the field too.
Same is happening in the field of yoga. And this is getting more prominent in current scenario.
At least once in a week, i get to meet people who practiced yoga with someone who claimed to be yoga teacher.
And to put it mildly, their experience was exact opposite of what yoga practice is all about.
Most common complaint was that they suffered physical injury while practicing.
Thus, their outlook and personal belief about yoga was changed to a large extent.
Other bad part is subtle (yet) tussle between different schools of yoga about being better.
Though, as the time will pass, those with strong processes and sound understanding of teaching technique will get acceptance.