Many a desi can commiserate over being lectured by their parents on how they should have been practicing yoga and meditation since birth. These parents are, of course, referring to the practice of yoga as passed down from the Vedas.
But yoga practices or classes that exist today are wild departures from the yoga of Hindu scriptures. In fact, not all, but numerous studios in the US are using the popularity of yoga as a marketing scheme with gimmicky ploys to get people to “hone their practice”. Here are the top five eye-brow raising yoga practices that are actually gaining traction.
1. Beer Yoga
No. We aren’t joking. Beer yoga exists. As in, while you’re in downward dog, you can sip your favorite malted beverage. Here’s how it works. Your local brewery will provide a space and a yoga mat, you come with no experience and get your flow on. Some poses will have you balancing bottles on your head and others will make you earn your keep through intense yoga poses. Either way, you’re looking to spend anywhere from BYOB to over $50 for the bougie beer yoga places. Umm, OM and cheers?!
2. Laughing Yoga
They say laughter is the best medicine and apparently that now applies to yoga. Laughter yoga started in India in 1990 but it only recently gained popularity in the west. The idea here is that you fake it until you make it. If you tell yourself you’re happy and laugh, you will eventually feel happy. Although it sounds ridiculous, maybe–just maybe we can get behind this. The power of positivity is compelling!
3. Nude Yoga
Yup. According to Oddee.com, Hot Nude Yoga classes started in 2001 at the Aaron Star’s male-only classes in New York City. Today there are tons of studios like Bold and Naked that offer a variety of classes from clothing to coed and nude. Germophobes, are you freaking out yet? Although these classes are wildly successful, I can’t help but be entirely grossed out and concerned about all those body juices! Can’t say I’ll be signing up for this one.
4. Cannabis Yoga
As recreational marijuana becomes legal in several states across the US, the rise in marijuana yoga has also spiked. It is worth noting that not all classes provide cannabis. Some ask you to come high to class. In Los Angeles, Higher Self Yoga offers you a chance to smoke and explore your consciousness on a deeper plane. Although it sounds like something you’ll end up doing at a party, these studios are serious in noting that their goal is for you to explore your humanity, mindfulness, and self-awareness. I’ll admit, I thought this sounded like a joke, but several friends have attested to power of high yoga.
5. Dance/Rave Yoga
Dance/Rave Yoga offers a healthy alternative to a night of clubbing. Most places that host classes offer non-alcoholic beverages and healthy snacks. Can’t see it yet? Picture a trip to a party where the 80s and 90s have combined. It’s a place where neon, crazy-hair, glow sticks and bright colors create the scene for your yoga practice. You’ll start with some stretches and meditation, and then you’ll head into a full-blown dance party. I’ve personally tried dance meditation. It was incredibly fun, but I can tell you I wasn’t thinking about mindfulness. If you’re interested, you’ll be winning at cardio!