Namaste in the USA: The Growing Pains that Traditional Yoga Faces in America – An International Marketing Case Study
Name of Faculty Sponsor
Dr. Mona Sinha
Faculty Sponsor Email
Yoga is a mind, body, and spiritual practice that originated nearly 5,000 years in India. It is known to relieve stress, enhance athletic performance, increase strength and flexibility as well as assist in achieving inner peace, focus, and improving mental wellness. In recent years, the practice of yoga has grown exponentially in the United States with about 37 million practitioners in 2016. However, the future growth of yoga in the U.S faces some critical challenges. American innovations in yoga techniques and the rise of the yoga accessories industry with deep linkages with consumerism, is drawing the practice away from its philosophical roots which emphasizes mental and spiritual benefits. A shortage of qualified instructors is exacerbating this problem. Further, the practice of yoga in the U.S seems to be mainly by females and concentrated largely in urban areas and East/West coast, thus, precluding its mass adoption. Also, although yoga has many health benefits across ages, and many schools have started adopting it, there has been some backlash due to its roots in Hinudism. Anti-immigrant rhetoric is also on the rise, in the U.S. which could have adverse impact on yoga which is clearly linked to India and Hinduism. This case study examines the practice and background of yoga and its rising popularity in the United States. It delves into the many challenges that yoga faces in becoming a part of mainstream health/wellness and fitness industry. Additionally, the case study poses critical marketing questions related to the scalability of its adoption in the United States…a challenge that the Brahmans, Rishis, and Yogis who created this practice thousands of years ago in India could never have foreseen.
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