As if twisting yourself into a pretzel isn’t stimulating enough, yogis in the West are always putting a new spin on yoga. (Sometimes a literal spin: see aerial yoga.) It makes sense. We like to brand and re-brand everything – even a millenia-old ascetic practice imported from India.
One recent study estimates that 24 million U.S. adults practiced yoga in 2013, up from 17 million in 2008. To put this in perspective, that’s nearly as many people as play golf in the U.S. As yoga becomes more mainstream, teachers need ways to differentiate their practice from others; studios need to capture the attention of a saturated market.
Yep, it’s pretty much what you think. Yoga, outside, in the snow. Head over to Instagram (#snowga) and you’ll see over 30,000 photos. To practice snowga, yogis bundle up in coats, hats, scarves, and mittens and settle their booted feet in the snow for warrior and other standing poses. It’s a way to celebrate nature and bring yoga outside, year-round. It’s about yoga as lifestyle, not yoga as fitness. And it’ll give your practice a little zip! Just be sure to warm up before your practice and be gentle with your body – remember, you won’t be as flexible in the cold.
Voga is Madonna-style ‘vogueing’ + yoga. House of Voga launched its first classes last November in East London. How shall we describe it? Voga is chic. You can wear fabulous sequined-covered leotards and blast club music while you practice. Chances are (unless you’re in the U.K.) you won’t find a voga studio near you, but you can always use the idea as an inspiration to loosen up. Sometimes yogis take themselves a little too seriously, and voga is a way to shake yourself out of the “shoulds” of a perfect pose and just have a little fun.
Sadly, salty yoga does not involve a giant bowl of truffle fries covered in salt. That would be amazing. But the real deal is better for you. Salty yoga was first introduced by BREATHE Dry Salt Therapy Centers based in New York. Dry salt therapy has been known to detoxify the respiratory system, heal skin conditions, and promote better breathing, sounder sleep and overall wellness. Salty yoga involves practicing asana in a room walled in Himalayan salt bricks, with your mat stretched out on a bed of loose salt. Might be harder to replicate at home, but you can always incorporate a salt lamp or two into your practice!
Photo Credit: deathtothestockphoto.com