International Yoga Day 2018: From beer to pets and chocolate — a look at the strangest asana fads

With yoga firmly cemented in contemporary culture, there have been variations and offshoots over time that have taken the practice into new and sometimes bizarre territories. From yoga with beer and chocolate (which some purists might say entirely defeats the purpose) to asana time with your pets — International Yoga Day seems like a good time to run through a list of all the strange fads out there. And step one for all these yoga types? Forget the concept of embarrassment! Let's begin:

File image of people performing yoga. Reuters

File image of people practising yoga. Reuters

Naked Yoga: A self-explanatory concept where either you (if you are bold) or a group of people (if you are bolder) practise yoga in the nude in a dark room. Participants swear to the transformational effects naked yoga has in helping them achieve a body positive outlook.

Beer Yoga: Apparently, having an icy fermented liquid in an effort to achieve a state of calm and peace is a thing now. Participants have beer as they perform yoga asanas. That is all there is to it. One may proceed to ask Google where the nearest class is for beer yoga.

Chocolate Yoga: If beer yoga can trend, then why must a combination of doing asanas while consuming chocolate not be a fad? Supposedly, the naturally occurring feel-good chemicals in chocolates have the same effect that yoga and exercise do, so somebody decided to double the feelings and now there is Chocolate yoga.

Pet Yoga: People practise yoga along with their pets — be it goats, dogs, cats and even horses. Some go as far as to perform yoga on horseback. The logic for doing pet yoga is that through yoga asanas, massaging and relaxation methods, the existing positive bonds people have with their pets are strengthened.

Anti-gravity Yoga: Keep aside misconceptions about doing yoga in interstellar space because anti-gravity or aerial yoga actually involves you being strapped to a hammock and being made to do a combination of pilates, yoga and acrobatics. The benefits of anti-gravity claim to include – a total body workout, improved flexibility, and people with back issues can also participate.

Paddle board Yoga: Yoga is hard already for some of us, but then someone decided that it is perfectly fine to get a paddle board and perform yoga on it as it floats on a water body. For anyone looking for out-of-studio yoga experience, paddle board yoga goes above and beyond to actually keep you away from land as well. The form can be done on a calm water body or while surfing, just in case navigating a wave is not enough of a thrill.

Rage Yoga or Tantrum Yoga: Sometimes the road to achieve peace and good health is by stretching, posing and calm breathing. At other times, it is doing all that and also shouting, swearing and listening to heavy metal. Research suggests that swearing helps release stress, so rage yoga — by encouraging shouting, yelling and swearing — seeks to release all the suppressed pain. Rage yoga is happy place for angry people with potty mouths.

Yin-yoga: For the times when one wants to live in slow-motion and enjoy being mindful, all one has to do is perform certain passive yoga asanas and then hold them for two or three minutes. Yin yoga is more geared towards physical focus and meditation. If like Mindy Lahiri, the lead character in The Mindy Project, you cannot be alone with your thoughts, then being confronted with stillness, your intimate self and other sensations as in yin yoga is probably not a good idea.

Acro Yoga: Acro Yoga consists of performing yoga and acrobatics with a partner. Acro Yoga helps to find your core and improves concentration, as one has to be responsible for personal as well as their partner’s safety.

Strala Yoga: Rooted in the Chinese philosophies of tai-chi and shiatsu, Strala yoga was founded by Tara Stiles and her husband. In Swedish, "stråla" means to radiate light, so this form includes movements to be performed with ease in a positive and relaxed atmosphere.

With so many styles and trends to explore on this International Yoga Day, feel free to explore what yoga has mushroomed into!


Updated Date: Jun 21, 2018 13:51 PM

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