We as practitioners need to have an open dialogue about the positioning of women in yoga. In current times the majority of practitioners are female. Most yoga books written in English, are written by women. Readers of these books are also mostly women.
How do you believe this dichotomy evolved? Any views you have on the issue. Please share!
After reading the article that was sent to us via email and another one on the internet, I’ve come to the following realization.
Since the popularization, commodification and commercialization of yoga, especially when marketing is concerned, women simply make up bigger percentage of consumer buyers (85%), so it is easier to sell to them.
For example, through Indra Dev, skincare and cosmetics specialist Elizabeth Arden offered yoga as part of the health program in her spa in 50-60’s. She did targeted women in particularly. And I think from that moment, yoga became for women.
Also, yoga has been given a feminine image to boost the interest in yoga, which further declined men’s interest in it – soft gentle practice (men are too tough to do yoga), which brings emotional balance (men are not concerned with emotions) and so on.
And now yoga is an industry, it is a brand, used to market goods (mats, accessories, clothes, healthy diet and products, etc.). It actually makes me sad but unfortunately in the consumer cultural environment, there was no other way it could have happened.
Yes to all of your observations Valentina and thank you for your openness to jump into this dialogue.
I agree. Women – our image – our economic influence has made yoga the billion dollar market it has become.
It’s also interesting that you hit on the point that there is a marketing angle that truly does give men the impression that they are too tough for yoga or its a women’s activity. We get male callers all the time questioning whether they should come to the studio. This dialogue is ever evolving.