Yoga is Good or Bad?

Essay by evisonlu November 2002

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Yoga seems to be moving into the public eye much more these days. From breakfast-cereal ads to Oprah, we are seeing subtle appearances of yoga in the media. This has sparked a debate about how good or bad this commercialization for yoga. Here are some thoughts---and an invitation to share your opinion as well. References to yoga are popping up in more and more places everyday. This is a sign of how the times are changing. Today, advertising for everything from breakfast cereal, to vitamin supplements, to a yoga-clothing line from sneaker giant Nike is pushing yoga to a new audience. You see it on television from comedy show Dharma & Greg to an entire Oprah show devoted to it. And the front cover of Time magazine showing model Christy Turlington in a yoga pose brought the subject to mainstream attention in surprisingly informative way. So what is causing this sudden interest and, even more important, is it a good or bad thing? People today are looking for body-mind fitness, something beyong running aerobtics.

We're all leading more stress filled lives with more demands on our time and us. And, don't forget, a large segment of population is getting older-and older joints don't react as favorably to all the stressful and jarring movements in aerobics and running. One thing to consider about all of this is that yoga is often misunderstood. People who've never tried it either think it is really easy-so it can't do much good or they think it is some type of religion-and they already have a religion. Of course both those assumptions are incorrect. But perhaps the more yoga is presented in a positive way by the media, the more people will become curious and interested enough to actually learn the facts and give it a...