This post is part of our YogaDork State of the Union series sharing reflections on 2014 and holding intentions and predictions for 2015.
by Jill Miller
Ah, you can smell the 2015 in the air. Especially if you are doing alternate nostril breathing. But before I jump silently into the year, I’d like to take a look back and reflect on the yoga scene of 2014.
1) Social Media Galvanizes and Disheartens
Yoga was an unstoppable visual phenomenon in 2014, especially with our increased use of social media. We can peer into each other’s practices 24/7. This is both good and not so good.
THE NOT SO GOOD: Whether you find the showmanship of poses inspiring or repulsive, our tech dependency slowly whittles away at our once resilient attention span. Our brains require extra doses of meditation to regain equilibrium from the visual stressors of the screens.
THE GOOD: MORE PEOPLE EXPOSED TO THE BENEFITS OF YOGA! YAY! (tag Tara stiles, Hilaria Baldwin, Kathryn Budig, Laura Sykora, Elena Brower, Sadie Nardini)
PREDICTION: 2015 will continue to clutter our minds with social media footprints. BUT, regular “social media fasts” will become a hot trend amongst the yoga crowd.
2014 saw even more perturbation in the science vs. esoterics camps. If there is one subject that seems to polarize practitioners more than how far apart your feet should be in triangle pose, it’s the ever-present conflict between latin and Sanskrit. No other teacher tackled this head on more than the constant and intense writing of Matthew Remski and his WAWADIA project (What are We Really Doing in Asana?). His blog attracted thousands of broken yogis worldwide who shared their deep confusion in mind and body. Honoring esoterics rather than the restrictions of their living tissue was a common theme.
Teachers are “coming clean” about their own yoga-related injuries. I propose that all yoga-related education needs to embrace functional movement and incorporate the wisdom of biomechanical science for training teachers and students.
PREDICTION: 2015 will be a turning point for yogis far and wide. They will embrace the nerdy fun of being a self-scientist…not just “self-study.”
3) Yoga in Cultural Context
I saw a massive uptick of yoga instruction “infiltrating” communities far outside of “traditional” yoga studios and fitness clubs. Yoga classes are proliferating inside of corporations, hospitals, CrossFit Boxes, sports teams, schools, retail stores and everywhere imaginable. Yoga that meets the needs of the contexts of these different communities will insure that it is long lasting. While some “purists” might scoff at the idea of yoga being taught in harshly lit, concrete floored, distracted environments, it’s important to note that yoga has the power to alter consciousness no matter what conditions are present.
PREDICTION: The demand for specialized yoga practices that help specific communities will continue to grow. Instructors that can fine-tune their teachings to meet the needs of these “alternative” spaces will prosper.
4) My Life: Professional/Personal
In my professional life, I’ve seen that students of every age and experience are thrilled to include self-care with my Therapy Ball methods into their self-study. I released a massive labor of love last year; “The Roll Model, A Step-by-Step Guide to erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body.” I became a published author just a few months after giving birth to another labor of love, my daughter Lilah. If you are a social media fan (see item #1) you’ll find plenty of pictures of us WITH the book all over the USA.
My biggest takeaway from last year: VULNERABILITY. Becoming a mother has exposed me to primal ranges of emotion, savage passions and fears that I never knew existed. Similarly, becoming an author and expressing my mind over the course of 432 pages emptied out my creative files and left me wondering if I had anything left to give. Fortunately, nature abhors a vacuum and once “The Roll Model” was complete I was flooded with a fresh batch of new ideas that I’ll be incubating and hatching throughout the year.
PREDICTION: 2015 is a gift to explore family, community and personal growth as never before.
The passing of BKS Iyengar. Words cannot fully express his impact on the world. He was a legendary innovator. May he rest in peace.
Jill Miller is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide, creator of the corrective exercise format Yoga Tune Up and The Roll Model Method. With more than 27 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, and pain management. She developed the International program Rx Series for Equinox Fitness Clubs and is known as the Teacher’s Teacher. Jill and her teaching team have trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her unique techniques into fitness and medical facility programs internationally.