Elin Rikkinen: Yoga should not lose its soul and in studios; Do your practice and wait for grace
Yoga has become popular. The popularity of yoga is deepening and widening in many parts of the world. Elin Rikkinen is a yoga practitioner and trainer. She is the follower of one of the foremost proponents of yoga in a systematic way named Swami Vishnudevananda (1927-1993).
Swami Vishnudevananda’s observations: “Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.”
“The aim of yoga practice is to achieve Truth, Peace and Health.”
“Live according to the divine law of love or the golden rule. First endeavour to harmonise your own affairs. Establish the kingdom of peace within your own heart. It is individual peace that paves the way for universal peace. The attainment of an inner calm is the greatest work you can do for humanity.”
“Yoga is a self-discipline based on these two principles: simple life and high thinking.”
Elin Rikkinen strives to make yoga accessible and affordable for people. For three consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019), she organized a yoga festival in Sweden’s verdant hilly spot called Sjӧberg. She told www.monsoon2047 that the main purpose was to be able to spread yoga to every one and to make to freely accessible and ‘it does not cost anything to come here for the free festival and participate and we want to create space with the no commercial’. She is concerned that yoga is becoming commercial and she doesn’t want the yoga festival she organises not be become commercial. She noted, “Today yoga can be a bit commercial… it is very expensive, it is lot of selling stuff like expensive equipment. Somehow we feel that yoga can lose its soul and meaning in some studios.”
The yoga festival she organizes has gained attention and traction without formalities of filling applications and registrations. She said, “I wish we keep it simple, easy, with just enthusiastic teachers who wants to come here and share.”
Elin’s concern is yoga is getting commercialized. Yoga’s popularity is reflected in the yoga accessories and services. For a man or woman, what one needs to practise yoga may not be more than one or two garments but in 21st century there are many. A webshop offers: yoga strap, mat (mono-colour to multi-colour yoga mats), spray to wash the yoga mat, lower/wider drip-grip yoga mat, bolster (pillow, block – and in different shapes and sizes: round, rectangular, cylindrical, square), mat towel, hand towel, no-slip yoga towel, chairs, blankets, balls, socks, grippy yoga socks, grippy yoga gloves, straps, scarfs, yoga sling, kits for beginners to advanced, and to place them all in one place – bags (yoga studio bag to yoga street bag to breathable yoga mat bag!, yoga shorts, leggings, seamless tops and bottoms, sleeve crop top yoga pant, men’s 3-piece leggings, shaper garments (pants and tops), yoga compression garments, singlet or doublet clothes, all yoga tops, all yoga pants and many more one can imagine and unimaginable.
The global business in yoga is growing. Gabriella Gricius wrote that financially the yoga market for yoga in 2016 was USD 80 billion globally. The business turnover for yoga mats alone is staggering. She mentioned, “The market for yoga and exercise mats is no less impressive. In 2020, that market is expected to grow over $3 billion USD and reach sales of 14.3 billion USD. If you want to practice yoga at home, a mat is necessary — so it’s no surprise that these sales are reaching record highs. Each yogi has a different favorite mat, so you might hear brands like Lululemon Athletica, Barefoot Yoga or Jade Yoga — just to name a few. All of this to say that, the yoga business is booming. From the classes themselves to the actual material that yogis practice on are all experiencing high growth in sales all across the world.”