Friends, everything Walter1963 has written is worth reading.
In the mid 1990s, a European physical therapy training method called Pilates became fashionable and even faddish for a couple of years. And it retains its loyalists today because it does work.But, Pilates did not offer an entry chute into the cultic milieu that yoga does.
Pilates had no metaphysical pretensions. It did not create a social scene.
It did not spark cravings for fashionable new clothing for for gurus.
Pilates, unlike modern the modern yoga marketing industrial complex, didnt spark cravings where none existed before.
Unlike the sutras of Patanjali, Yoga postures, except for lotus posture, do not appear to have roots in ancient India. The reportedly originate Danish gymnastics via Niels Bukh (there are no sculpted depictions of downward dog or cobra pose or tree pose(!) and was adopted for PT by the Indian Nationalists who concealed it as yoga, and adopted for PT in various armies and as part of patriotic rallies.
And W1963 has re-iterated a point thats worth repeating - marketing the fake idea that one needs a pile of equipment before one can do a single downward dog.
(Dogs dont need any equipment to do that posture!)
Am here to bear witness.
I live in a yoga-ridden town. Butt (am saying this intentionally) I did not see people carrying yoga mats until about the mid 1990s.
In the 1950s, 60s, 70s and even the 80s, YOU DIDNT SEE PEOPLE WITH YOGA MATs
Or with cutsy yogista fashionista clothes.
Wanna know what the yoga people wore, and for years?
No special band name was emphasized.
Leotards. They probably went and got them at dance supply stores without making a big, ego ridden fuss about it.
And wore those leotards for years.
Later, there was a shift to wearing tanks and bike shorts.
But yoga didnt become the full on nauseating scene it has become until the late 1990s.
For purposes of comparison, I can inform you that there was a brief but intense time when Pilates was all the rage. It too was an old European gymnastic system. No metaphysical pretensions whatsoever.
During the early to mid 1990s Pilates became the rage. People were lining up to get into the Pilates classes at our gym.
Then, later in the 1990s, yoga became the fad.
But because of its metaphysical pretensions and all the success of creating an entire social scene and manufacturing cravings where none existed before (clothes, jewelry, massage oils, ayurveda, gadgets, gurus, perfumes, foods, diets, cosmetics, sacroiliac tattoos, magazines -- ye gods.
Yoga as mostly taught, reinforces ego rather than assisting us to see there is more to life than a shapely ass.
And more to life than showing off one's shapely ass and descrating one's lower back with an oh so boring tattoo.