Increasing commercialism and a proliferation of weird and wonderful yoga styles are in store for 2008, says holistic consultant Megan McDonough.
Here are her top ten predictions, first published in the 2007 report, Yoga's Evolution in American's Wellness Revolution:
1. Yoga's growth will continue. More teachers will qualify and there will be more venues offering yoga, leading to more competition between teachers and studios. In response to yoga's increasing availability and the wide variety of yoga options, consolidation and specialization will occur, with big players getting bigger and solo practitioners cultivating specialised niches.
2. You'll need to stand out to stay in. The yoga professionals who differentiate themselves with an approach or style that stands out will have a distinct advantage. While ten years ago people asked, "What is yoga?," the question now is "How is this yoga different from all other yogas?"
3. Yoga will be on the move. Yoga will continue to migrate into new territory beyond the standard studio or gym. Think yoga at your desk, or unusual locations.
4. Yoga will step into the doctor's office. Conventional healthcare providers will increasingly acknowledge the therapeutic benefits of yoga. As this occurs, more structure will be needed, including peer-reviewed research studies to measure the efficiency for standardized protocols of yoga care.
5. Companies looking to associate their products or services with a wellness lifestyle will turn to yoga imagery. A sexy yogini sipping a glass of wine while sitting in lotus position on the hood of a car is not out of the question, if it helps sell the car.
6. Asia will be the next growth market for yoga. More teachers will answer the call to bring yoga to Hong Kong, and there will be more Asians attending yoga conferences and teacher training programs in the United States.
7. You'll want to think lifestyle, not just asana. Yoga's growth is part of a bigger wellness trend. Those who want to capitalise on this broader trend will add more ancillary services-such as nutritional programs, exercise routines, spa services, and wellness consultations-to their yoga offerings.
8. Yoga meets YouTube. Convenience is always an advantage in busy lives. That's why yoga is moving out of the studio why yoga is a growing presence in the online world. Expect more and more streaming videos of live classes, downloadable videos for your iPod, yoga pages on MySpace and Facebook, and more.
For more information about Yoga's Evolution in America's Wellness Revolution, click here.
Megan McDonough teaches yoga and is a marketing consultant for mind/body organizations including Kripalu Center. She is also a corporate trainer to companies such as the American Cancer Society.