Top 10 Yoga Trends for 2009: Are They Here to Stay?

Jill Miller by Jill Miller | December 24th, 2009 | 9 Comments
topic: Conscious Living News, Fitness, Yoga

Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Training graduates.

Yoga Tune Up® Teacher Training graduates

We are closing our decade, and it’s time to take a look back at 2009 and the amazing year of growth in our U.S. yoga community. One thing is for certain: Despite the economy and the recession, there was constant growth and expansion in the yoga world!

My colleagues reported that classes were fuller than ever, with flocks of new and returning students seeking solace in their nurturing yoga communities around the country. I also met many folks who had been laid off and decided to turn their passion for yoga into a new career change. After a lot of soul searching, they enrolled in teacher training programs to pursue a craft that truly feeds their spirit.

It has been an inspiring year on so many levels, and I have listed 10 trends below that I have seen firmly taking hold in the U.S. All are welcome additions to the evolution of yoga. It is by no means complete, so please chime in below in the comments to fill in your favorites!

Top 10 yoga trends for 2009

Yogini Lillee Chandra helping at an orphanage in Agripalli, India.

Yogini Lillee Chandra helping at an orphanage in Agripalli, India

1. Yoga activism organizations are proliferating, helping to bring social change to the world and helping out communities in need. Seane Corn’s Off the Mat, Into the World is an organization that helps teachers build communities around activism and social change. Yoga Gives Back provides micro-finance to India. And Make a Difference Worldwide provides hands-on-help in impoverished communities worldwide.

2. Yoga social networking sites like YogaMates, LoveYoga and Facebook continue to be incredible tools to keep us all connected.

Yogis hiking up to class at the Ojai Yoga Crib.

Yogis hiking up to class at the Ojai Yoga Crib

3. Local festivals like Ojai Yoga Crib on Ojai, Calif., Wanderlust Festival in Lake Tahoe, Telluride Yoga Festival in Colorado, and EvloveFest in New Jersey help us to continue to grow, learn and build a sense of community.

4. Studios that broadcast online yoga classes — such as Yogaglo, Lulubandhas and YogaVibes — help bring exposure to teachers around the globe.

5. Kirtan is exploding more than ever, with Jai Uttal performing at Chant4Change during Obama’s inauguration and  BhaktiFest in Joshua Tree. Bhakti Yoga Shala opened as a yoga studio entirely devoted to Kirtan in Santa Monica, and Lady Gaga even has a Kirtan riff in her hit song “Bad Romance” … Can you hear it?

6. Yoga therapy modalities are growing as teachers seek continuing education and specialization. Explore Gary Kraftsow’s Viniyoga, Leslie Kaminoff’s Breathing Project and my very own Yoga Tune Up®. Check out more info at the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Felicia Tomasko's ever informative publication.

Felicia Tomasko's ever informative publication

7. Proliferation of in-depth local yoga media — like LA Yoga and Ayurveda Magazine, Yoga Chicago, Yoga Living Magazine in Philadelphia and New York Yoga Magazine — help yogis find great studios and events.

8. Great yoga bloggers keep us informed and connected. Some of my favorites are Elephant Journal, Dr. Kelly McGonigal and Joni Young’s Accidental Yogist (who covers anything and everything about the massive LA yoga scene — and does it all on her lime green bike)! In NYC, Yoga Dork is witty, cutting-edge and entertaining. And of course, there’s the blog you’re reading now!

9. Green yoga studios raise our eco-consciousness: Home Simply Yoga in Santa Monica, Green Yoga House in Des Moines, Iowa, Yoga Now Chicago in Chicago, and Blue Lotus in Raleigh, N.C.

10.  There have been serious groundbreaking studies in yoga research — a trend that I truly hope continues to evolve to inform us for the next several decades. Special thanks to Dr. Lorin Fishman for his studies on yoga and osteoporosis, Richard Miller, Ph.D., and his studies with soldiers and Yoga Nidra, and the pioneering brain research being conducted through Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living.

Please fill in your favorite trends and outlets below, and let us all continue to nurture yoga’s contributions to our personal health and to society. May we serve, play, prosper and thrive! Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a blissful New Year!


  1. I’m an enthusiastic participant in Dr. Fishman’s current study on yoga and osteoporosis. I want to help prove, by example, that yoga asana improves bone density.

    So glad that we’ll have the benefit of this information/work in the future.

    Sharon Frost | December 25th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. would like to add the stellar organization~yoga for homeless/abused children. sponsoring teacher’s training for street yoga in chicago in april. go to to find out more about their program. namaste, mary bethxoxo

    mary beth janssen | December 28th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. [...] list by Gaiam: Top 10 Yoga Trends for 2009: Are they here to stay? #8 “Great yoga bloggers keep us informed and connected….In NYC, Yoga Dork is witty, [...]

  4. just thought i’d point out that you misspelled my last name… it’s “yung”. but i won’t hold it against you; people keep thinking I’VE misspelled my own name :)

    joni | March 31st, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  5. I just learned about this article, and thanks for including Yoga Gives Back in the trend. Yes, we are definitely here to stay to invite Yoga Community together to help the poor in India through micro financing. Did you know 6 billion dollars are spent by American yoga practitioners anually. If a small fraction of this huge money is shared with our campaign, we could make a real difference to the poverty issues, and give back to India, where yoga is from!! Join us!!

    Kayoko Mitsumatsu | April 1st, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  6. Is there any same checklist available for 2011? It may not change but wondering if something added new per the current trend.

    Mary Tucker | May 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  7. Hi Mary! It’s not another Top 10 list, but here’s a recent article about yoga trends for 2011:

    - Valerie Gleaton, Gaiam Life Assistant Editor

    Gaiam Life | May 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  8. Thanks Valerie!!!

    Mary Tucker | May 20th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  9. I love yoga.Thanks!

    John | July 23rd, 2015 | Comment Permalink

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