So I was at the Victoria and Albert museum in London this weekend and went to see the exhibition, ''You say you want a revolution''. The main question the exhibit represented was how have the revolutions of the 1960's changed the way we live today and think about the future? It explored the era and the impact of the 1960's, expressed through some of the greatest music performances of the late 20th century, alongside fashion and design and political activism.
The Beatles were a huge part of the exhibition and became an incredible influence in the popularity of Yoga in the West. While the group was filming "Help!" in the Bahamas in 1965, they met Swami Vishnu-Devananda, the founder of Sivandana Yoga. He presented them with signed copies of his work, "The Illustrated Book of Yoga." George Harrison was fascinated by the book and began studying yoga and Eastern religion. By 1966, Harrison journeyed to India to study sitar, a type of stringed instrument, under the master Ravi Shankar.While Harrison studied in Bombay, Boyd heard of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM).Harrison and Boyd were struck by the Maharishi's teachings and bought tickets for the Beatles to see him in London. The group followed the Maharishi to Bangor, Wales to learn more about meditation. They eventually traveled to his ashram, or religious retreat, in Rishikesh in the Himalayas where they were joined by other celebrities. The Beatles had been profoundly influenced by their time with the Maharishi. Much of the music on the White Album was inspired by the yogi's words and their experience with TM.
In more recent years, other big names in both the music and other industries have been hugely drawn to Yoga and played a part, in my opinion, in bringing yet more awareness and popularity to this ancient practice.
Madonna displayed defined muscles which she attributed to her daily rigorous Ashtanga Yoga practice. She even quoted the chant on her track ''Ray of light''.
Both Sting and Trudie Tyler have talked of the benefits of Yoga and how it is a huge part of their life. Sting even wrote the foreword for the ''Jivamukti'' book of yoga with David life and Sharon Gannon being their teachers .
Many other celebrities, models and people in the public eye thank Yoga for giving them health and vitality.
Whether we like it or not, the media has always had an influence on the choices we make and that which we may wish to explore. I really feel in a society where technology is moving so rapidly and we are bombarded with images of what we should be, eat and live, Yoga has stayed the test of time.
I see Yoga as a practice which can only grow in popularity as we strive to reconnect to ourselves and learn to live in peace and without judgement.