77 Things You Never Knew About Yoga

Whether you’re an accomplished Yogi or a bright-eyed newbie – check out these fascinating yoga facts – you’ll be amazed at what you never knew!

Following the amazing success of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” meditative travelers are trading in sun, sea, sand vacations for more introspective trips.

The author found inner-peace and true love through yoga and meditation via New York, India and Bali.

But before you set off on your own journey of self-discovery – check out these 77 things you never knew about yoga, share with your friends and spread the yoga love!

Yoga Facts

1.    Yoga is over 5,000 years old
2.    Yoga originated in India
3.    Yoga is inspired by practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism
4.    The earliest Yogis are said to have been intoxicated on the sacred drink soma
5.    Yoga was originally practiced as a form of healing
6.    Yoga is one of the oldest physical disciplines in existence
7.    Yoga connects the mind, body and spirit
8.    Yoga combines body postures, breathing and meditation
9.    The official language of Yoga is Sanskrit
10.   The word yoga means yoke or union
11.    There are 19 different types of Yoga
12.    There are 66 official yoga postures
13.    Yoga breathing is called pranayama
14.    Yoga hand positions are called mudras
15.    Mudras affects the flow of prana (life energy) within the body
16.    Bikram or hot yoga is practiced in rooms heated to 40°C and 50% humidity
17.    Jivamukti yoga is performed to music
18.    In Mysore yoga students are invited to practice whatever postures they please
19.    Hasyayoga or Laughter Yoga is practiced in more than 60 countries
20.   Chair Yoga is practiced by seniors / people with disabilities
21.   The largest yoga center in Asia is the Markandeya Yoga City in Bali
22.   The bestselling yoga book in English is Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika by B. K. S Iyengar
23.   Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” has sold 8 million copies worldwide

Yoga in the US

24.    Yoga was first practiced in the US in the late 19th century
25.    The most popular type of Yoga in the US is Hatha Yoga
26.    The largest yoga center in North America is the Kripalu Center Massachusetts
27.    Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products*
28.    6.9% of US adults, 15.8 million people practice yoga
29.    72.2% of US yoga practitioners are women, 27.8% are men
30.    71.4% of US yoga practitioners are college educated, 27% have postgraduate degrees
31.    Yoga to the People is a donation-based yoga movement that started in New York
32.    Naked yoga is gaining in popularity across Europe and the US

Yoga Benefits

33.    Yoga relieves anxiety, depression and stress
34.    Yoga can increase self-confidence
35.    Yoga can improve your mood
36.    Yoga can lead to a more positive outlook on life
37.    Yoga can alleviate anger and hostility
38.    Yoga can improve concentration and motivation
39.    Yoga can improve memory
40.    Yoga can improve reactions times
41.    Yoga can make you live longer
42.    Yoga can help you quit smoking
43.    Yoga aids weight loss by improving metabolism
44.    Yoga reduces cellulite through muscle stretching
45.    Yoga improves posture
46.    Yoga can help you sleep better
47.    Yoga can improve sexuality through better control, relaxation and confidence
48.    Guarasana or Eagle pose can help improve male sexual performance
49.    Yoga can reduce menopausal hot flashes
50.    Yoga improves balance
51.    Yoga can make you more graceful
52.    Yoga can help prevent migraines
53.    Yoga delays aging by stimulating detoxification in the body
54.    Yoga can relieve constipation
55.    Yoga can alleviate allergy symptoms
56.    Yoga increases pain tolerance
57.    Yoga reduces blood pressure and pulse rate
58.    Yoga helps prevent disease by massaging internal organs
59.    Yoga can make you more aware of an impending health disorder or disease
60.    Yoga can help improve your immune system
61.    Yoga can heal the body and prevent injuries
62.    Yoga can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
63.    Yoga can alleviate Asthma symptoms
64.    Yoga can reduce OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) symptoms

Yoga Tips

65.    Kids’ yoga sessions should not last more than 25 minutes
66.    Dawn is the best time to practice yoga when the air contains the most prana (life energy)
67.    Yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach
68.    The bowels and bladder should be emptied before commencing yoga
69.    A glass of lukewarm water should be drunk before commencing yoga
70.    Yoga should not be practiced in front of a mirror
71.    Clothing should be loose, especially around the abdomen
72.    The maximum amount of skin should be exposed to the air
73.    A session should begin with gentler postures and advance to more difficult ones
74.    The mouth should be closed – breathing though the nose only
75.    Foot spray can protect your feet from bacteria from shared mats
76.    Yoga should be practiced in a quiet, dust-free room
77.    Windows should be kept open for ventilation

Learned something new? Been on a yoga vacation? Tell us about it – we want to hear from you!

If you liked this, you might also like: 10 Ways to Avoid Vacation Stress

*Statistics taken from the Yoga in America Study 2008.

11 thoughts on “77 Things You Never Knew About Yoga”

  1. great!!!, but in ”yoga tips” why?
    I mean, why Yoga for kids lessons under 25, why yoga shouldn´t be practiced in front of a mirror ….. why yoga bla bla…. an so…?????’

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