Yoga basics: http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/820
The word yoga translates to “union” or bind.
People who practice yoga are yogis (males) and yoginis (females).
History of yoga in the United States: http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/467
Yoga got popular in the 1960s when the hippie movement was getting started. There was already an atmosphere for challenging western ideology, so eastern culture and yoga were accepted and embraced.
Yoga philosophy and principles: http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yoga-and-health/yoga-lifestyle.asp
There are eight limbs of yoga: attitude towards others, attitude towards yourself, physical poses, breathing exercises, withdrawal of the senses, concentration, meditation, and enlightenment. It’s more than just a physical activity; it’s a philosophy and, to some people, a spiritual experience.
Yoga culture: http://www.atmayoga.com/yoga-culture-soul
Yoga can be a very spiritual experience, with body and mind becoming balanced and unified. Yoga has roots in Indian spirituality, with emphasis on meditation and inward reflection.
Local yoga groups and studios: http://yoga.meetup.com/cities/us/64110/ and http://g.co/maps/epwaa/
Yoga is popular enough in Kansas City that there’s a few Meetup groups and a lot of studios around town.
Types of yoga and their characteristics: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/yoga/types-of-yoga
Ashtanga and Vinyasa: http://theyogabum.blogspot.com/2008/01/actual-differences-between-ashtanga-and.html
Ashtanga yoga has a more systematic approach, and Vinyasa uses more randomized poses.
Commercialized vs. “traditional” or “open source” yoga? http://www.yogaunity.org/
Yoga has become more commercialized over the years, giving rise to expensive products, fancy studios, pricey membership fees, and even trademarked versions of yoga like Bikram. (Yes, there’s an entire type of yoga named after one dude.) This is totally different from classical/traditional yoga, where it doesn’t cost anything, and can be done by anyone as it has been for thousands of years. This battle between schools of thought is driving a wedge into the yoga community.
“Yoga, Inc.” documentary: http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/yoga_inc