If you are a westerner who loves the concept of Yoga and has totally joined the large masses of Yoga lovers in your country, then you would be aware of the fact that this practice originated in the east-in India. While the principles and basic commandments of Yoga are the same all across the world, there is a big contrast in the way it is practiced and preached in the west and in the east.
Yoga took birth in India and has slowly spread all across the world and in this process; it was natural for it to undergo changes, variations and transitions. Let’s look at a comparison between western and eastern yoga.
Yoga in the West is more Popular Among Masses than in the East
It is rather surprising to know that Yoga is more popular among the masses in west than in India or in the east. Yoga is a craze in USA and almost everyone seems to be doing it while the same cannot be said about the country where it originated. The west certainly seems to have commercialized Yoga like no other place in the world.
Teaching Styles Vary Dramatically
Another point of difference between Yoga in the east and in the west is the difference in the teaching styles. In the eastern countries including India, the relation between the Guru and the Shishya is much more cultural and there is a great deal of respect involved. On the other hand, in western countries, this relation is more friendly, laid back and practical. The teaching style or patterns in the east are limited to the breathing patterns, alignments and focus of the mind. In the west however, teachers use more of words to explain positions and there benefits.
Yoga gets Combined with Fashion in the West and not in the East
The western countries have combined yoga with fashion to a certain level which is not found in the eastern parts of the world. In India for example, you need not be dressed in a comfortable tee and track pants to practice yoga but in America, this practice is often thought impossible to do without adding certain specific outfits and styles to it.
Yoga is Limited by Time Constraints and Schedules in the West
In places like India and Sri Lanka, Yoga is something which is done to achieve peace, calm and physical fitness but is not really scheduled or bound by time limitations. In the west however, the busy lifestyle do not allow people to give this practice as much time as it requires and this practice is limited by hourly sessions.
Yoga in East is Practiced in the Lap of Nature
Since yoga is more commercialized in West, it is often practiced in indoor settings but back in the East, it is considered best to do it in parks, gardens and as close to nature as possible. People in India and other eastern countries understand the importance of attaching nature to Yoga more as compared to those in the east.