True Yoga Meditation Vs Yoga Practiced In The West

The perception about yoga is somehow significantly shifted over the years. This shift has made the traditional yoga a lot more different than that of the modern yoga practiced in the West. The origin of yoga can be dated 5000 years back in Northern India. This yoga was first mentioned in a old holy book called ‘The Rig Veda’ in India. According to a recent study in 2012, it has been seen that almost 8.7 % of the adults in United States practice yoga. So, as much as it is popular in its native country India, yoga has also become famous in the West. But the main question is how the yoga practiced in the West is different from that of the traditional yoga meditation.

Changed Perception About Yoga

As mentioned above, the typical perception of true yoga (the traditional form) has been changed a lot and shifted to the modern view point. This change in perception is mainly due to the western influence on Yoga. The yoga that is practiced in the West i.e. United States is more of the modern one. The true perception of yoga is that it is a spiritual system with a physical component. But this perception has shifted in the recent years. Now the yoga in the west is considered as the physical system with spiritual content. So, the main change or shift in perception is from spiritual system to a physical system. It has become more of a physical exercise than that of the spiritual meditation method.

Traditional Yoga Vs Yoga In The West

The term yoga has been misused unfortunately by many people. Due to the latest preaching, books, blogs and many other sources yoga is termed as one of the physical exercises. The youth specially has a very wrong conception about yoga. They use it for their physical health i.e. to lose weight, get into shape and increase flexibility or stability. But the traditional yoga is more about the spiritual component that comprises of meditation. Vipassana meditation is considered to be one of the oldest forms of meditation. It is done to achieve the peace of mind.

Some of the notable differences between the true yoga and the yoga practiced in the west are –

The traditional yoga is more for the peace of mind and body with spiritual connection. But in the west it is done for staying fit and toning the muscle.

The true yoga meditation concentrates on the posture and breathing of a person but the modern yoga in the west is about the practice of different positions to tone muscle.

The true yoga is strictly about spiritual discipline involving physical components but the yoga of the west is all about fitness and weight loss.


Though the meaning and perception of yoga has changed a lot in last few years but still there are some yoga retreats that hold the traditional and true form. No matter how much people have become oriented to the newer version of yoga, the true yoga is really the best way to heal from inside and become a better person every day.

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