Austin Claims Highest Number of Yoga Centers and Instructors Per Capita

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Author and yoga teacher Vik Vad comments on eclectic conditions giving rise to popularity of yoga in Central Texas in recent months

"Yoga is a wonderful way to gain physical health and vitality for some, while others come to deepen spiritual understandings, or just to connect to others in the community."

While Austin, Texas is famous for its live music, barbeque, a weird vibe and laid back attitude, it now also has the highest number of yoga studios and centers per capita than anywhere else in the country. Add to that the highest number of yoga instructors as well, according to an article in Austin Woman Magazine. Over the past decade, scores of yoga studios have cropped up all over the city, and most stay in business and do very well due to the increasing demand and mainstreaming of the modern urban yoga culture. Many also offer teacher training certification and advanced coursework, creating a steady stream of new teachers, styles, and enthusiasts.

"Yoga is a wonderful way to gain physical health and vitality for some, while others come to deepen spiritual understandings, or just to connect to others in the community," states Vik Vad, yoga instructor, and author of Six Months in India: Yoga in Its Original Context. "It is not surprising that Austin has embraced this ancient art, and made it available in a fun and enriching way." Vad has travelled to his family's homeland of India, and explained in his book how the concepts arising from this culture have made their way into the American phenomenon that we see today.

"Twenty years ago, yoga was virtually unheard of in Austin, except maybe by followers of new age movements with Eastern gurus," explains Vad. "Then, slowly, with the introduction of physical movement and form, as well as small studios in strip centers beginning to open up, it grew in popularity and mushroomed into what it is today." Vik Vad watched the trend take place, attended hatha yoga classes at various studios, and eventually became a certified instructor himself. He teaches in a style that emphasizes individuality, as well as breathwork and meditation as part of the practice.

Yoga will likely continue to grow, evolve, and cross-pollinate with other trends, movements, and spiritual endeavors. And Austin will welcome newcomers and seasoned yogis alike, as they explore, learn, and share.

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Vik Vad

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