I’ve just got back from delivering a presentation on the hot topic of yoga and body image at the Yoga Australia Conference on the Gold Coast.
Yoga is now practiced by over 20 million people in the USA, more than 80% of whom are women (85% in Australia). The lure of a product that promises to makes you look and feel better has transformed yoga into big business, turning over US$10.3 billion in 2012. In fact, the aspirational, mass appeal of yoga closely resembles other products marketed primarily to women, such as fashion and cosmetics. It was the presentation slides that compared advertising for these products with advertising for yoga that conference delegates found most alarming. Just to make it clear, the top picture shows advertising for fashion and cosmetics, the bottom picture shows a selection of adverts for yoga studios and products.