Why Fads Don’t Work

Paging through the weekend paper I was surprised by the endless lists of “top 10 things to do this year”, “top 5 diets to try” or the “top 20 latest fitness gadgets or trends” that will all easily, quickly and effortlessly transform your life and body.  Sounds too good to be true?  Well, it may be – because they are ‘fads’.  Wikipedia defines a ‘fad’ as “a form of behaviour that develops among a large population and is collectively followed for a period of time as a result of the behaviour being perceived as popular or being deemed “cool” by social media. The behaviour will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone.”
In contrast, yoga was recently hailed as one of the most lasting fitness trends, leaving Zumba, Pilates, Indoor Cycling and even CrossFit behind.  So what’s behind the staying power of yoga?  It’s actually not just the yoga in itself, but the mindset (or to use the Wikipedia term ‘behaviour’) of the people that choose yoga:  The people who choose yoga are the truth-seekers, the ones that are not after quick-fix solutions and the ones that know that in order to change our lives/body/mindset, nobody can do the hard work for us and that it is the consistency of the practice (i.e. we are usually talking here in terms of years, if not a whole lifetime!) that makes the difference between lasting happiness and chasing after yet another instant fix.  Don’t get me wrong, some people understandably come to their first yoga class because a Hollywood celebrity claimed that her amazing (Photoshopped) body was due to regular yoga classes.  Well, the yoga asana probably helped transform her body, but more importantly once we enter the world of yoga and apply a consistent practice to our daily routines, something magical happens.  We connect with the breath and the mindset, we start to get ‘it’ and we understand that the power of yoga is not just through achieving magical feats of flexibility and strength, but because we are connecting body and mind and as such getting a glimpse of the beautiful simplicity of being in the Here and Now.

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