Bunnies and Puppies and Goats, Oh My! Weird and Wonderful Yoga Trends for 2018
Yoga is a robust and still-growing sector of the health and wellness industry. Its popularity is being driven in no small part by boomers and healthcare providers who see it as an eminently accessible way to increase flexibility and muscle strength.
Yoga is also known to improve cardio and circulatory health, reduce stress, shed pounds, shore up mental health and more. Here is a rundown of some of the yoga trends catching on in 2018.
Yoga with Small Animals
I’d be surprised if we ever see the day when lions and tigers and bears arrive on the yoga scene. But animals of the small, sweet and cuddly variety have become a main attraction in yoga studios.
It’s hard to know which element of the animal yoga experience is more beneficial – the pet therapy aspects or the movement. Either way, offering yoga sessions with cute little creatures has proven to be an effective tactic for attracting humans to studios all over.
Much of what I’ve seen about puppy yoga involves co-sponsored events with local animal shelters and service dog agencies. And what better way to do the pose downward dog than with a real yogi dog alongside?
Class proceeds are usually shared with the nonprofit. Sometimes a lucky pup so charms a yogi that s/he ends up scoring a home.
Yoga enthusiasts in suburban and rural areas are increasingly likely to find baby goat yoga on offer. The idea of enhancing the workout with pet therapy is the same, minus the adoption part.
After the goats catch on that carrot bits are the reward for climbing on yogi backs, the critters are happy to oblige. Once one is perched, your challenge is to maintain balance while resisting the urge to quit the pose and snuggle with the kids.
There’s also bunny yoga, and probably a ton of other pet yoga varieties. A little internet searching is sure to uncover other trends in the yoga-with-animal-friends category.
Hot Yoga Is So 2017 – Brace for Cold
At one point, folks were flocking to Bikram hot yoga, which is practiced in a room heated at 95 to 110℉. In traditional ‘cold’ yoga – better known as hatha – the air is room temperature or slightly warmer. But it seems hatha is not cold enough for some.
Now that science suggests that working out in cooler, even cold, environments may confer even more benefits, entrepreneurs have stepped up.
If cold holds any appeal, you can try yoga out at temps ranging from 45°F (7°C) to 60°F (16°C). Although, as with any new physical activity, you should read up on cold yoga and check with your doctor before trying it.
Yoga as Elixir
Yoga has fast become the main attraction in fitness programs for older adults. As life expectancy increases, all eyes are on living more healthily, longer – quality of life is the goal.
Yoga wheeling is a popular new technique for rehabilitation and recovery. The wheel provides an assist for deep stretching and tension relief in the back, shoulders, chest and quad/hip flexors.
It can also enhance balance, which is especially valuable for those over 50. Personal trainers and physical therapists like the yoga wheel’s ability to deliver great results with low impact.
Chair yoga is an ideal therapy for people with limited mobility or anyone recovering from injury or illness. You do it sitting on a chair or using the chair as support for basic postures. There is less emphasis on form or technique, and the goal is movement with ease.
Aerial Yoga for the Trapeze Artist in You
Aerial yoga has origins in early Hindu culture. It uses suspended hammocks and slings to partially or fully support body weight to help you explore all manner of yogic postures. Suitable for yogis of any age, it is great for core strength and alignment.
Inner Axis Yoga for Everyday Life
Whether you do yoga, or you don’t, Inner Axis is for you. It harnesses the power of ‘ocean breathing’ to release negative emotions and reduce stress in a deeply transformative way.
You will learn to be less reactive, more connected and experience more positive emotions in your daily life. Gaining strength and flexibility are also in the mix. The practice combines mindfulness and breathing techniques with qi gong.
Beer, Nude, Music, Paddleboard – Pick Any Word and Add “Yoga”
Beer lovers might be enticed by trying to balance a beer bottle on the head during poses. Practicing nude yoga will help you love your body as it is, banish negativity and build confidence.
Maybe you prefer yoga with a music component or look for balance challenges on bodies of water. Whatever your fancy, chances are there’s a yoga class near you.
Have you had any unique yoga experiences lately? Do you have a yoga story or comment to share? Please do so in the comments below.
Janet Basilone has been a secretary, financial services marketer, and freelance writer for 20+ years. She is founder of Fine Diners Over 40™, a members-only dinner club in New York and Seattle. Occasionally she writes about restaurants, but found real purpose in adding her voice to the food waste reduction movement. She also writes about stories of renewal after age 40.