Yoga is continuing to rise in popularity in Australia and around the world. Research from Roy Morgan shows that the popularity of yoga has doubled since 2008, with over two million Australians participating. That makes it Australia’s fastest-growing sporting or fitness activity.
Worldwide, there are now over 300 million yoga practitioners. In the US, there are over 6,000 yoga studios, and 36 million Americans practicing yoga.
But there’s a lot more to yoga than fitness. The word ‘yoga’ comes from a sanskrit word that means ‘to attach, join, harness, yoke’. The idea of union between spirit and body is central to yoga.
Since yoga’s origins in ancient India, it’s diverged into a number of different schools and practices, each with its own goals and exercises.
Famous poses include the Lotus Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Warrior Pose, Child’s Pose and Cobra’s Pose. Yoga can greatly improve strength, flexibility and balance.
Outside India, there’s often a focus on posture-based physical fitness, stress relief and relaxation, but some practitioners are also keen to reconnect with yoga’s origins in meditation and spirituality.
The Northern Rivers of NSW is blessed with a large number of yoga devotees, both amateur and professional. Outside COVID-19 times, there are numerous clubs and retreats and get-togethers happening across the region every week, in community halls and more formal settings.
If you are seeking professional advice with your yoga journey, Joanne Morrish is a yoga healer based in Mullumbimby with over 30 years experience. She combines yin yoga with massage therapy, reflexology, Bowen therapy and energy healing and also runs yearly yoga retreats in Bali.
ShantiDwara Yoga Temple at Middle Pocket offers weekly healing havan fire ritual, manta, yoga nidra and restorative Satyananda yoga classes. They also provide ayurveda, detox and purification, nada yoga, classical Indian performances, workshops and satsangs.
Whether you’re more interested in the esoteric or down to earth aspects of yoga, the Northern Rivers region is pretty much yoga central in Australia.
So grab your mat and strike a pose!