15 Interesting Yoga Facts You May Not Know
There are two very influential yogis who were related? We can actually watch the Yoga Olympics? There are how many practicing yogis in the United States? Ooooo tell me more!
Next time you’re hanging out with your fellow yogis drinking some kombucha, share some of these fun yoga facts and get your “learn on” for the day. Yoga has been around for a long time (we knew that) and with its ancient roots traveling to modern day, there have been some interesting notes made along the way.
Yogis wrote the first book . . . ever.
Here are 15 interesting yoga facts you might not have heard about before:
1. Yoga improves orgasms and sex…
…and is even believed to help stop premature ejaculation. Think of all of the bandha work we do and pelvic floor awareness! If you would like to learn more ways your yoga practice makes you better in bed, read this article.
2. Krishnamacharya and B.K.S. Iyengar are family.
Yup! Krishnamacharya married one of Iyengar’s older sisters, Namagiriyamma in 1926 when Iyengar was a young boy.
3. The swastika symbol did not come from the Nazis in WWII.
The symbol was founded first in Hinduism and the god Vishnu. It is the symbol of the Sun god, Surya and represents the daily course taken by the Sun. It was also used as a charm to bring good fortune.
4. Ancient yogis believed we only had a limited number of breaths.
So slow those inhales and exhales down for a longer life!
5. Scholars believed yoga incorporated elements from the Stone Age.
Shamanism was prevalent during the Stone Age and is a healing practice connected to nature. Yoga is not derived from shamanism, but the two have many similar aspects such as physical poses, self-restraint and spiritual transcendance.
7. Emerson told Thoreau about yoga.
It’s true. Henry David Thoreau found out about yoga while visiting Ralph Waldo Emerson in his library. He caught a glimpse of Manusmriti (a book of Hindu law) and later, Thoreau became interested in the “solitude and meditative life in general.”
8. Psychologist Carl Jung studied Kundalini Yoga.
He was the first to study Eastern thought and the inner experience and relate it to Western psychology.
9. The Indian Postal Service released a special stamp for yoga.
June 21, 2015 was the inception of International Yoga Day and to commemorate this day, the Indian Postal Service released a stamp showcasing the outline of a seated yogi with the Anjali Mudra overhead.
10. Thank the Beatles for a yoga studio on every corner.
Okay not really, but they did kind of help. Influentials such as Swami Vivekananda (1893) and Paramahansa Yogananda (1920) were some of the first to speak of yoga in America. As popularity grew in the 1970’s, a certain Beatle named George Harrison infused his love for yoga and Eastern spirituality into many of his songs – with his fan base taking note.
11. Its official: yoga has reached the masses.
According to a study done by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal, as of 2016, more than 36 million people practice yoga in the U.S. and those yogis have spent $16 billion on yoga gear. That is a lot of Downward Facing Dogs and yoga pants!
12. Yogis wrote the first book . . . ever.
The Rig Veda is the first of the Vedas and contains thousands of hymns and Sanskrit mantras. It is believed to be the oldest known text in the world, dating back to 1500 B.C. or earlier.
13. Yoga and Olympics?!
While competitive yoga is not necessarily a new thing in India, this is the first year it will include sponsors and official support and recognition from the Indian Government. Check out more information in this article.
14. Teaching yoga is becoming a popular career choice.
Over 52,746 teachers registered with Yoga Alliance in 2016 alone, and for every yoga teacher, there are two more enrolled in a yoga teacher training program.
15. Modern technology is a yoga supporter.
Yoga has been labeled the most successful byproduct of globalization. Technology has made it possible for anyone to access some form of yoga, and we are so thankful!
Yoga has an amazing history, and there is so much to learn about it! These fun yoga facts are just a few to keep in mind if the conversation ever gets dull at your next yoga festival.
Surprised by any of these facts? Have any fun yoga facts of your own you would like to share? Please leave them in the comments below, we would love to hear more!