With the explosion of yoga over the past decade, we’ve seen a Westernization of traditional practices to make yoga more accessible to a Western audience. While the intention to make yoga more inclusive is a good one, sometimes the result is a trivialization of the practice to the extent that it barely scratches the surface of its traditional purpose. In many facilities, we end up with yoga as not much more than an Eastern form of calisthenics or a fashionable and exotic form of “working out”.
As an older man teaching in a gym setting I don’t think that yoga should be considered as an “exercise” class. There are much better cardio formats and better strength building activities. Yoga should be what it is, a centering practice that brings the mind, body, sprirt together. My classes are always focused on feeling good in you body–“digesting” the work they did in the other fitness activities. What good is a buff body or a yoga butt if you are miserable nervous wreck? I teach all of the classical ideas but leave out most of the sandkrit and Vedic terms. It works for me.