Yoga in Britain after the 1980s
Suzanne Newcombe [+]
Open University and Inform, King's College London
Yoga in Britain has not been a linear development. Rather, old and new co-exist, adapting to suit the specific needs of a particular time and place. But as well as continuity of groups and teachers, have also been important changes. Much of the government funding for adult education was cut during from the 1980s. Ever flexible, practices called yoga slowly adapted into the neoliberally-flavoured private market place. In the early 1990s, the UK Sports Council recognized yoga as a ‘sports activity’ and eventually designated a transformed British Wheel of Yoga as its ‘governing body’ for this purpose. Meanwhile a variety of accreditation bodies sought to establish qualifications and insurance provision in the newly commercialised marketplace. Multi-style commercial yoga studios became established in metropolitan centres and a vigorous style of yoga practice based on a flowing sun-salutation sequence known as Astanga Vinyasa Yoga gained popularity, addressing the needs of a new generation of practitioners.