September is National Yoga Month, a time when toe-touching, sun-salute loving newbie yogis and advanced yogis come together to celebrate all styles of yoga and the healthy benefits associated with the practice. Over 1,500 participating studios and teachers offer week-long free classes and yoga events in communities throughout the US.
Created by the Yoga Health Foundation, a non-profit organization located in California, National Yoga Month includes events like Global Mala for Peace (108 sun salutes uniting people for peace), Bhakti Fest (a 4-day festival with Kirtan, yoga, meditation, lectures and seminars), free yoga classes at Lucy stores nationwide and YogaAid (dedicated to raising funds through yoga for all sorts of charities) among many, many more.
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The Yoga Health Foundation is dedicated to promoting preventive health and to inspire a healthy lifestyle, according to Foundation representatives. The Yoga Health Foundation is the sponsoring body behind National Yoga Month (free classes and events), the Yoga-Recess program geared toward bringing yoga-based health and fitness into schools and the Titans of Yoga DVD.
Yoga is still relatively new in the United States. While nearly 16 million people in the US practice yoga regularly, three quarters of those practitioners have been at it for 5 years or less. Comparing that to the birthplace of yoga, India, where yoga has been in existence for over 5,000 years, it’s safe to say we (in the US) are newcomers to the scene. Americans spend more than $5.7 billion per year on yoga classes and yoga gear, up 87% from 2004.
Are you participating in any National Yoga Month activities? Let us know in the comments!