The Top Yoga Trends of 2022
Much has changed in the world of yoga. Alongside long overdue conversations about inclusivity in fitness spaces, body positivity and neutrality integrated into the notion of a guided class, affordability, and more varied styles of practice to meet people’s needs, post-pandemic yoga will hopefully remain and continue to be forever changed. There are a few things here to stay in 2022. Things that pushed these requisite changes into the foreground.
With the shift to online yoga, be it live stream classes or recorded classes, this option paved the way for a more inclusive yoga landscape. The cost and accessibility of in-person yoga is not always a feasible option. Classes have steadily increased in price, keeping up with the cost of studio rental space, cost of living, and the instructor’s need to be paid equitably. Even so, not everyone can afford to pay $25 to $30 per class. With the increase of online classes born out of necessity these past two years, more people are able to access movement classes from the comfort of home for a reduced cost. Not only is it financially more accessible, it’s physically more attainable. Not having to travel to a fitness space that, for example, may have stairs to climb, or may not be close to your home.
Also, having the option of practicing in the privacy of home is an enticing alternative for some. There can be much anxiety and uncertainty when a person begins their wellness journey. Entering fitness or yoga spaces can be intimidating. The capacity of these spaces to be more welcoming has been lacking in the past, and still is at present. This needs to change so that more people from varied walks of life feel safer in these realms. There is still much work to be done to change the tone of the fitness and yoga realms to be a more inclusive and a safer space for POC, all body types, gender identity, and age ranges. Work must continue as we shift towards a ‘new normal’. While this long overdue change occurs, online offerings take that initial vulnerability and fear of judgment out of the equation, letting people practice in a space where they don’t have to encounter a uniformed, judgmental gaze.
Many of us were forced to discover the benefits of being outdoors. Countless pandemic walks had us discovering streets, parks and green spaces. Yoga classes are now offered outdoors in warmer months, bringing unique benefits and unforeseen challenges. Practicing in refreshing open air, absorbing sunlight, hearing birdsong and being around the energy of other people once again are undeniable positives. It also asks us to patiently work with inclement weather, and insects that find their way onto mats. Not to mention the inability of some people to pick up after their pets, requiring many people to be hyper vigilant when laying down their yoga mat in parks. Still, the feeling of being on the earth while practicing is grounding in more than one sense.
There is a subtle integration of outer awareness that takes place. Feeling what is happening around you, as well as inside you helps to more readily connect us to the world. It is a helpful way to prevent introspection that can sometimes lead to rumination and has the potential to allow for contemplation that simultaneously connects us to ourselves and the world. The practice of yoga is meant to help us understand our own bodies and minds, and then take this understanding, using it to aid the world with our newly discovered gifts. So if that means we become better stewards of the environment because being in it while we practice heightens our awareness of how beautiful it is, that’s a definite plus.
The physical postures of yoga were originally designed to help stretch and strengthen the body to prepare it for longer states of seated meditation. As meditation has become increasingly popular, many people can now attest to its very real difficulty. It isn’t as easy as it looks! Active meditation is an offering that allows for a gentler entry point into the world of mindfulness for many people who have busy, full lives. Lives which require them to move quickly throughout the day between jobs and the demands of home life. Fast movement in this modern world is a necessity of survival. Teaching rest is no small task. It is an act of rebellion in a world that requires us to move at full tilt at all times. The practice of active meditation in yoga, be it bringing more body and breath cues into a practice to help people slow down and connect to their natural rhythms, or walking meditation where a person is encouraged to feel how their feet meet the ground, take in their surroundings not just through sight, but also sounds and smells, brings all senses into the present moment. These practices are a helpful, and for some, a more approachable way to enter into the practice of meditation.
Much like the world of yoga postures and adapting them to fit the needs of the body, finding a form of meditation that meets the needs of your mind is equally as important. For those of us dealing with mental health issues (which is all of us by the way) finding different vehicles towards mindfulness and relaxation is incredibly important.
All of these new trends are ones that are most likely here to stay. As we continue to alter the world of yoga to include more of the world, new, more integrated and inclusive ways of practicing are a welcome part of yoga’s future.
With training in Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin and Meditation Jelayna firmly believes yoga is for everyone. Her philosophy for teaching is simple; teach with love, empathy, patience, and humility. Yoga is a journey, not a destination. www.jelaynayoga.com